Delicious Vietnamese Spring Rolls Sauce Recipe

As a lover of Vietnamese cuisine, I cannot overstate enough the importance of a good dipping sauce – it can make or break any dish! In particular, Vietnamese spring rolls are known for their fresh and light flavors, and the perfect dipping sauce should be able to complement and enhance these flavors. That’s where this delicious and easy-to-make Vietnamese dipping sauce comes in.

This dipping sauce is a tangy classic Vietnamese recipe known as nước chấm, made with fish sauce, fresh lime juice, garlic, sugar, water, and sometimes a touch of vinegar or hoisin sauce – these ingredients work together to create a sweet yet savory taste that is irresistible. The balance between salty, sweet and tangy flavors is what makes it the perfect partner for any light dish, especially Vietnamese spring rolls or summer rolls.

The beauty of this recipe is its simplicity – it requires only 7 basic ingredients that are easily available in your kitchen pantry. Moreover, since the ingredients are simple and easy to procure you can whip up this dipping sauce anytime you want to enjoy some delicious Vietnamese cuisine. So next time you make some Vietnamese spring rolls or summer rolls try out this nước chấm for dipping – I guarantee that it will take your dining experience to the next level!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Dipping Sauce for Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Sauce Only)
Dipping Sauce for Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Sauce Only)

If you’re a fan of Vietnamese cuisine, you’ll absolutely fall in love with this dipping sauce recipe for Vietnamese spring rolls. Even if you’ve never tried it before, this is the perfect recipe to start with! The balance of sweet and tangy flavors is what makes this dipping sauce so unique and flavorsome.

Not only is this dipping sauce incredibly easy to make, but it also pairs well with different dishes including rice paper rolls, shrimp, summer rolls, and even chicken wings. The versatility of this dipping sauce makes it perfect for any meal or occasion.

This classic Vietnamese dipping sauce balances sweetness from sugar and tanginess from lime juice with a bit of saltiness from fish sauce. Moreover, many variations are possible by adding peanut butter or hoisin sauce if you want. You can adjust the level of spiciness by either adding more chili peppers or reducing the amount to suit your preference.

Whether you’re vegan or not, you can easily make this dipping sauce vegan-friendly by substituting fish sauce with soy sauce. This recipe is perfect for everyone who loves the sweet tangy classic Vietnamese dipping sauce that’s suitable for various Asian dishes.

Trust me; once you taste this homemade dipping sauce recipe for Vietnamese spring rolls, you’ll never go back to store-bought dipping sauces again.

Ingredient List

 The perfect complement to your crunchy spring rolls
The perfect complement to your crunchy spring rolls

Before delving into the recipe, it’s important to gather all necessary ingredients for this sweet and tangy classic Vietnamese dipping sauce, also known as nuoc cham. The following ingredients are needed:

  • fish sauce: 5 tablespoons
  • water: 1/4 cup of hot water
  • sugar: 1/4 cup of sugar
  • lime juice: 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
  • garlic: 2 cloves of fresh garlic, finely minced
  • chili pepper (optional): 1 Thai chili pepper
  • Hoisin sauce: 1 tablespoon
  • Soy sauce: 2 teaspoons

The combination of these ingredients creates a delicious dip that complements various dishes, most notably spring rolls. For a tangy classic Vietnamese dipping sauce, fish sauce is key. To achieve the right balance, sugar and water are added along with freshly squeezed lime juice. Garlic adds a flavorful punch while a single Thai chili pepper (seeded for less heat) could be added for spice level variation. Hoisin sauce could be used for additional depth while soy sauce adds more savory notes. These dipping sauces can be customized by tweaking the ingredient ratios depending on personal preferences.

The Recipe How-To

 Dip, dip, hooray! You won't be able to resist this flavorful sauce
Dip, dip, hooray! You won’t be able to resist this flavorful sauce

Now that we have covered the necessary information, it is time to learn just how to make this delectable dipping sauce for Vietnamese spring rolls. This recipe only requires a few easy steps and is easily adjustable to fit your taste.


  • Sugar: 1 tablespoon
  • Water: 1/2 cup hot water
  • Fish sauce: 3 tablespoons of fish sauce (use vegan fish sauce as a substitute)
  • Lime juice: 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
  • Garlic: 2 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced


  1. Start by dissolving sugar into the hot water. Stir continuously until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  2. Now add fish sauce, the juice of one lime, and finely minced garlic. Stir until fully mixed.
  3. Adjust the seasoning by adding more sugar or fish sauce if needed to balance the sweet, tangy, and salty flavors.
  4. Use this dip on your favorite spring rolls and enjoy!

This recipe is suitable for vegans too! Simply use vegan fish sauce and replace honey for sugar, if necessary.

Substitutions and Variations

 Keep calm and dip on with this Vietnamese-inspired dipping sauce
Keep calm and dip on with this Vietnamese-inspired dipping sauce

Sometimes, you might not have all the ingredients required for a recipe, or you just want to experiment with different flavors. Here are some substitutions and variations to consider:

– Peanut dipping sauce: Instead of making a classic Vietnamese dipping sauce, mix 1/4 cup peanut butter, 2 tbsp hoisin sauce, 1 tbsp lime juice, 1 tsp soy sauce, and hot water to thin it out. This sweet and savory peanut sauce pairs well with summer rolls or rice paper rolls.

– Nuoc cham with peanut butter: For a richer and creamier dipping sauce, add 2 tbsp of creamy peanut butter to the classic Nuoc Cham ingredients (fish sauce, water, sugar, lime juice, garlic).

– Vegan spring rolls: If you prefer vegan spring rolls or want to accommodate your vegan friends, substitute the fish sauce in the Nuoc Cham dipping sauce with soy sauce. You can also add finely minced garlic and/or ginger for extra flavor.

– Hoisin dipping sauce: Hoisin sauce is a popular condiment in Asian cuisine that is slightly sweet and salty. To make a quick and easy hoisin dipping sauce, combine 5 tbsp hoisin sauce with 3 tbsp water and 1 tbsp rice vinegar. Add a pinch of sesame oil or minced garlic for more depth of flavor.

– Shrimp dipping sauce: If you’re serving spring rolls with shrimp as a filling, consider making a sour dipping sauce with 2 cloves fresh garlic (finely minced), 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, 2 tbsp lime juice, and 1/4 cup warm water. This tangy sauce complements the sweetness of the shrimp.

These substitutions and variations are just suggestions and starting points for you to explore your own taste preferences. Don’t be afraid to experiment and adjust the ingredients to your liking!

Serving and Pairing

 A dipping sauce that will take your spring rolls to the next level
A dipping sauce that will take your spring rolls to the next level

Serving Vietnamese spring rolls with a dipping sauce is a fantastic start to a complete meal. The sweet, tangy and fresh flavor of the dipping sauce perfectly complements the lightness of the rolls. For an excellent meeting of flavors, dip your crispy spring rolls into the delectable sauce, which is known in Vietnamese as nuoc cham. In general, these rolls are served either on their own or as part of a larger meal.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls and dipping sauces make for an excellent appetizer during any gathering. It’s easy to prepare a large batch of these fresh rolls ahead of time, then serve them together with the delicious dipping sauce. Assemble the rolls from rice paper filled with shrimp and herbs that give a satisfying crunch. Your guests will love this simple and refreshing appetizer option.

It’s also recommended pairing these Vietnamese Spring Rolls with other Asian dishes such as curries or stir-fry for a harmonised taste experience. You can also consider serving them along with salads for extra nutrients, including freshness while maintaining the same light texture without overwhelming the palate.

In case you prefer non-alcoholic beverages such as tea, lemonade or ginger ale would be perfect pairing options. If you’re searching for alcoholic drinks, options such as a cold beer or fruity wine will provide a refreshing and marvelous evening boost to compliment your meal.

Lastly, don’t be shy to experiment with various dipping sauces such as peanut butter sauce or soy sauce depending on your preference. The assembly of spring roll preparations is equally essential; sliced into pieces, halves or left whole recreating versatile serving alternatives suited for any occasion.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Get your taste buds ready for an explosion of flavor with this sauce
Get your taste buds ready for an explosion of flavor with this sauce

As with most dipping sauces, it’s best to make the Vietnamese dipping sauce fresh and consume within the same day. However, if you have leftovers, they can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days.

If you’re making the sauce ahead of time, we recommend making up until step 4 (adding hot water) and then storing it in the fridge, covered tightly. When you’re ready to serve your spring rolls, simply take the sauce out of the refrigerator, let it come to room temperature and then add the hot water.

Do not freeze this dipping sauce as it will change its texture and consistency once defrosted. The lime juice will also lose its sharpness over time.

To reheat leftover sauce, we advise gently heating on a stove over low heat, stirring frequently so that the ingredients emulsify back together nicely. Avoid microwaving as the high heat will cause the sugar to caramelize and burn.

Keep in mind that this dipping sauce is best served at room temperature, so make sure to take it out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before using or reheating it.

By following these simple storage tips, you can maximize your enjoyment of this tangy classic Vietnamese dipping sauce for Vietnamese spring rolls anytime.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Meet your new favorite dipping sauce for all your Asian dishes
Meet your new favorite dipping sauce for all your Asian dishes

To achieve the perfect dipping sauce for Vietnamese spring rolls, there are several tips and tricks that can be used to make sure your sauce is delicious and consistent every time.

Firstly, it is important to use fresh ingredients. Fresh lime juice and garlic will make a significant difference in the overall taste and aroma of the sauce. Using stale ingredients will result in an unappetizing flavor and potentially ruin the dish.

Secondly, pay attention to the proportions of your ingredients. Dipping sauces are usually about achieving balance between sweet, salty, and tangy flavors. So make sure you measure each ingredient accordingly.

Thirdly, if you’re adding peanut butter or hoisin sauce to your recipe, be aware that these ingredients contain sugar, so it’s essential to take extra care when adding sugar into the mix. Use less sugar than you usually would to avoid any overwhelming sweetness.

Fourthly, keep in mind fish sauce is salty by nature. It’s best to taste as you go since adding too much salt in addition to fish sauce can result in an over-seasoned sauce.

Lastly, make sure you’re using good quality fish sauce as it acts as a base for most Vietnamese dipping sauces. The quality of fish sauce will impact the overall taste profile of your dipping sauce.

By following these helpful tips and tricks, you’ll achieve an excellent homemade dipping sauce that pairs perfectly with your Vietnamese spring rolls. Keep practicing!


As with any recipe, you might find yourself asking questions along the way. Fear not, for we have anticipated your queries and compiled a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) below. From substitutions to storage, we have got you covered. So, read on and let us address any concerns you may have about this delightful dipping sauce for Vietnamese spring rolls.

What is the most common Vietnamese sauce?

If you’re looking to taste authentic Vietnamese cuisine, then you must try nuoc cham, a dipping sauce that’s considered a staple in Vietnam. Made using nuoc mam, nuoc cham is commonly referred to as “dipping sauce” in Vietnam and is mainly used for salads. It’s a must-try for anyone who wants the full Vietnamese culinary experience.

What can I use instead of fish sauce for nuoc cham?

If you’re unable to use fish sauce in your recipe, soy sauce can be used as a replacement to add a different, but still savory, flavor.

What to serve with Vietnamese spring rolls?

As a chef specializing in Vietnamese and Asian cuisine, I have the expertise to share some incredible recipes that will tickle your taste buds. From tangy sweet chilli dip to hearty chicken and sweetcorn soup, I present to you a list of mouth-watering dishes that will leave you asking for more. You can try out the vibrant and colorful Asian chopped salad or savor the flavors of the juicy sweet and sour chicken. You could also indulge in the sweet and spicy pineapple fried rice or the healthy and delicious Chinese broccoli with garlic sauce. In this article, I will provide detailed instructions, tips, and recommendations for each of these dishes. So put on your apron and let’s get cooking!

What sauce do you put on Vietnam pho?

When it comes to pho, hoisin sauce is a commonly used Vietnamese sauce that has gained popularity for its rich texture, which is similar to ketchup, and its mild sweetness. For those who prefer milder tastes and are not keen on spice, hoisin sauce is certainly a delightful option to include in your pho.

Bottom Line

Conclusively, this classic Vietnamese dipping sauce recipe, also known as nước chấm, is a sweet, tangy and savory sauce that will elevate any Vietnamese spring roll or summer roll to the next level. Made with simple ingredients like fish sauce, fresh lime juice, sugar, water, and garlic, this sauce is easy and quick to prepare.

The recipe allows for several substitutions and variations based on taste preferences and dietary restrictions. You can customize the ingredients to create a vegan-friendly version of the classic Vietnamese dipping sauce or experiment with different dipping sauces like peanut sauce or sour sauce.

One can prepare this sauce in advance and store it in the refrigerator for future use without compromising on the flavor or texture of the sauce. This flexibility makes it a perfect choice for meal planning and meal prepping for busy individuals who crave authentic Vietnamese cuisine.

So go ahead and try out this dipping sauce recipe at your next gathering with friends or family. With its irresistible aroma and flavor profile, the sauce is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!

Dipping Sauce for Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Sauce Only)

Dipping Sauce for Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Sauce Only) Recipe

I LOVE soft spring rolls. So healthy and refreshing. The recipe that I use faithfully (in my appetizer cookbook) has a sauce that is ok, but I never LOVED the sauce like I love the rolls. I think the rice wine vinegar is too prevelant. I stumbled across this sauce recipe in Cooking Light and think the addition of the sesame oil is going to balance the vinegar out beautifully. Can't wait to try it!
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Vietnamese
Servings 1 tbsps
Calories 16 kcal


  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili paste with garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and wisk.
  • Serve with soft spring/summer rolls!

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 7gCalories: 16kcalCarbohydrates: 1.6gFat: 1.1gSaturated Fat: 0.2gSodium: 290.8mgSugar: 1.6g
Keyword < 15 Mins, Asian, Easy, Sauces
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