Authentic and Savory: Vietnamese Sauces Recipe

Do you love Vietnamese cuisine? Have you ever wondered how to make those mouthwatering dipping sauces that perfectly complement the dishes? Look no further! As a chef specializing in Vietnamese and Asian cuisine, I want to share with you my recipe for traditional Vietnamese sauces. These sauces are not only easy to make, but they elevate your dishes to a whole new level of taste explosion.

Vietnamese cuisine is known for its fresh flavors and bold spices. One of the essential components of this cuisine is the dipping sauce or “Nuoc Cham.” This sweet and savory sauce accompanies many Vietnamese dishes such as spring rolls and grilled meats, adding an incomparable burst of flavor.

In this recipe article, I will provide you with detailed instructions on how to make three classic Vietnamese dipping sauces: Nuoc Cham (fish sauce-based), Peanut Sauce (vegan), and Sour Sauce. Each of these sauces has its unique flavor profile, making them perfect for different dishes.

So let’s get started and learn how to make these tasty Vietnamese sauces that will take your culinary game to new heights.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vietnamese Sauces
Vietnamese Sauces

When it comes to Vietnamese cuisine, the dipping sauces are an essential part of the meal. These sauces bring together the unique flavors and textures of each dish, making them a staple in any Vietnamese kitchen. And I believe that my Vietnamese Sauces Recipe is one you will fall in love with.

What makes this recipe stand out is its versatility. It includes classic and traditional options, as well as variations that cater to modern tastes and preferences. Whether you’re a fan of spicy or tangy, sweet or savory, there’s a sauce in this recipe that’ll hit the right spot.

One key ingredient in this recipe is fish sauce – the backbone of many Vietnamese dipping sauces. The sauce’s funky and earthy flavor creates a perfect balance with other ingredients like sugar, lime juice, garlic cloves, lemongrass, and rice wine. Through experimenting with different ratios and creative additions like ground pork or peanut butter, you can create a dipping sauce ideal for your palate.

This recipe will not only take your taste buds on an incredible journey but also help you discover new flavors and techniques to incorporate into your everyday culinary endeavors. Moreover, many of these sauces can be made vegan by substituting fish sauce with soy sauce or by omitting it altogether.

If you’re looking for a way to elevate the flavors of traditional Vietnamese dishes like spring rolls, grilled meat or seafood, rice vermicelli noodles, or banh mi sandwiches – my Vietnamese Sauces Recipe has got you covered.

In conclusion, you’ll absolutely love this versatile and delicious Vietnamese Sauces Recipe. It’s a perfect way to introduce yourself to the vibrant world of Vietnamese cuisine while simultaneously getting creative in the kitchen. These sauces could become your secret weapon for adding an explosion of flavor to any dish.

Ingredient List

“A splash of flavor from Vietnam”

In order to bring these Vietnamese sauces to life, we need to gather a few necessary ingredients. Here’s a quick rundown of everything we’ll need:

Nuoc Cham (Vietnamese Dipping Sauce):

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red chili pepper, sliced (optional)

Sauce Nuoc Mam (Vietnamese Fish Sauce):

  • 2/3 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 red chili pepper, sliced (optional)

Mam Cham (Vietnamese Sour Sauce):

  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Thai chili pepper or ½ red jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced

Peanut Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

Whether you’re making classic Vietnamese dishes like spring rolls or looking for a versatile sauce to brighten up your meal, these Vietnamese sauces are the perfect addition to your culinary arsenal.

The Recipe How-To

“Turn up the heat with our spicy sauce”

Now, let’s dive into the recipe itself. In this section, I’ll walk you through the steps to create three classic Vietnamese sauces that will elevate any Asian dish.

Sauce Nuoc Cham

  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red chili, finely chopped (optional)


  1. In a medium bowl, combine the fish sauce, warm water, and sugar, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Add in the lime juice, garlic, and chili (if using). Stir to combine.
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning as required by adding more sugar or lime juice.

Sauce Nuoc Mam Cham

  • 1/2 cup fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 red chili pepper, seeded and minced


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the fish sauce, warm water and sugar until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Add in the lime juice and whisk thoroughly to blend.
  3. Add in garlic and chili pepper and stir until fully combined.

Peanut Dipping Sauce

  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Water


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together peanut butter, orange juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil and honey until smooth.
  2. Stir in water, one tablespoon at a time, until the sauce reaches your desired consistency and is pourable.

With these three sauces, you will have the best Vietnamese Sauces to accompany different types of spring rolls or any other Vietnamese dishes that call for a deliciously unique dipping sauce.

Substitutions and Variations

“Sweet and tangy, our sauce will leave you wanting more”

Vietnamese cuisine is all about bold flavors and experimentation, so feel free to play around with different ingredients to create the perfect dipping sauce for your taste buds. Here are a few subtle variations you can make to this Vietnamese Sauces Recipe:

1. Fish sauce substitutions: If you want to make a vegan version of the dipping sauce, swap out fish sauce for soy sauce or tamari. You could also try Hoisin sauce, though it will be sweeter, so adjust the sugar content accordingly.

2. Lime and lemon juice: If you can’t find limes, lemons are a great substitute for providing that tangy citrus flavor. Or you could use tamarind paste for a sour twist.

3. Adjusting sweetness: Many Vietnamese dipping sauces have a sweet note because of the addition of sugar or honey. If you don’t want your sauce too sweet, use only half of the sugar quantity as recommended in the recipe and add more gradually until you reach the desired level of sweetness.

4. Spicier version: If you like spicy food, adding some minced chili pepper or black pepper powder will give your dipping sauce extra kick.

5. Herb additions: For those who love herbs, try adding chopped mint, cilantro or basil to provide freshness to your dipping sauce.

6. Peanut Sauce: Consider adding peanut butter or roasted peanuts along with garlic and chopped red chillies to enjoy an alternative sauce perfect for Asian-style spring rolls.

Remember, these variations are just ideas! Be creative and tweak this recipe however you like until you discover your perfect Vietnamese dipping sauce!

Serving and Pairing

“Our sauce is the secret to a delicious bowl of pho”

One of the best things about Vietnamese sauces is their versatility. They can be served with an array of dishes, including spring rolls, grilled meats, tofu, vermicelli noodles, and vegetables.

My personal favorite way to enjoy these sauces is to pair them with a platter of fresh spring rolls. The light and fresh flavors of the rolls perfectly complement the tangy and savory notes of the dipping sauce.

Another classic dish that pairs well with Vietnamese dipping sauce is Pho, a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup. Simply add a few dashes of nuoc mam or nuoc cham to elevate the flavor profile and add some depth to the soup.

If you’re looking for a vegetarian option, I recommend pairing Vietnamese peanut sauce with tofu or stir-fried vegetables. Its creamy texture and nutty flavor add richness to any dish.

For those who prefer sour flavors, nuoc mam gung (ginger fish sauce) is an excellent option. Its sweet and sour taste goes well with chicken, rice papers rolls and can also be served as a salad dressing.

In summation, there are endless options for serving and pairing these flavorful Vietnamese sauces. Experiment with different combinations to find your favorite flavor pairings and elevate your next meal to the next level.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“Elevate your summer rolls with our dipping sauce”

Making Vietnamese Sauces ahead of time is an excellent way to save time and ensures that you have tasty sauces on hand whenever needed. You can prepare the sauces up to 1 week in advance, stored properly in airtight containers or mason jars, refrigerated.

When reheating the sauces, mix them well as spices may settle at the bottom when cooled. If the sauce thickens due to refrigeration, add a little warm water and lime juice or vinegar to loosen it up. Reheat gently in a small pan over low heat or in a microwave oven.

If you have leftover Vietnamese Sauces, do not throw them away. These versatile and flavorful sauces can enhance the flavor of many dishes beyond Vietnamese cuisine. You can use them as marinades for meats or vegetables, salad dressings or dips for fresh spring rolls, fried foods or dumplings.

Remember to label your sauces with the date made and best before date to ensure freshness and quality. When properly stored in air-tight and clean containers, they can last up to 2 weeks in the fridge or up to 3 months when frozen.

So why not make extra Vietnamese Sauces next time? Having these condiments at hand will save you time and add complexity of flavors to any plain dishes like boiled noodles, steamed rice, grilled meats or veggies; just let your creative culinary imagination go wild.

Tips for Perfect Results

“A versatile sauce that complements any dish”

Delicious Vietnamese sauces can uplift any dish to a whole new level. To make sure your Vietnamese sauces are perfect every time, here are some tips that I, as a chef specializing in Vietnamese and Asian cuisine, recommend.

Firstly, always use fresh ingredients, including lime juice and lemongrass. Fresh herbs and spices add a distinct flavor to the sauce that is unparalleled.

Secondly, make sure everything is well combined when making the sauce. The sugar must be completely dissolved in the liquid before adding other ingredients. Proper mixing ensures that the sauce is balanced and doesn’t have any clumps of sugar or salt.

Thirdly, remember to let your sauce sit for at least 15 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to mature and blend together.

Fourthly, adjust the seasoning to taste. If you prefer a sweeter sauce, add more sugar; if you prefer more tang and sourness, add more lime juice or vinegar to balance it out.

Fifthly, don’t be afraid to experiment with different ratios of ingredients. Every cook has their own way of making Vietnamese sauces, so don’t hesitate to adjust the recipe according to your taste preferences.

Lastly, store your Vietnamese sauces properly in air-tight jars and refrigerate them for up to two weeks. It’s always best to make a fresh batch every time but if you have leftovers store them appropriately. Reheat it on low heat and not on high as this will affect its balances taste.

With these tips in mind, you’re sure to create mouth-watering Vietnamese dipping sauces that will undoubtedly elevate your dishes!


As your culinary guide throughout this Vietnamese Sauces Recipe, I anticipate that you might have some questions about the ingredients, cooking steps or serving options. That’s why I’ve prepared a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) to clear out any doubts you might have. From substituting sugar to making the sauces vegan-friendly, I’ve got you covered with my expert tips and recommendations. So without further ado, let’s jump into the FAQ section and discover more about this tasty Vietnamese Sauces Recipe!

What are the sauces in Vietnamese food?

In Vietnamese cuisine, there are several types of popular sauces that can be used in various dishes. These sauces include Nuoc Mam, which is a fish sauce commonly used as a base for other Vietnamese sauces. Another well-known sauce is Nuoc Cham, a dipping sauce that pairs perfectly with spring rolls and other appetizers. Nuoc Mam Sa Ot, another dipping sauce in Vietnamese cuisine, is made with lemongrass for a tangy flavor. For those who enjoy spice, Tuong Ot is a Vietnamese chili sauce or hot sauce that can bring heat to any dish. Finally, there’s Nuoc Leo, a creamy and savory peanut sauce that perfectly complements meat dishes and salads.

What sauce do you put on Vietnam pho?

One of the all-time favorite Vietnamese sauces for pho is hoisin sauce. Its sweet taste, combined with a ketchup-like texture, makes it a perfect addition to a bowl of pho, especially for those who don’t like spicy flavors.

What is the most popular Vietnamese fish sauce?

When it comes to Vietnamese cuisine, there are various types of fish sauce available in the market. These include the widely recognized Nam Ngu fish sauce, which has gained a reputation as one of the finest fish sauce brands in Vietnam, owing to its fermentation in Nam Ngu, Phu Quoc. Among the other popular options are Chau Son, Ca Na, Hung Thinh, and Nha Trang 584 fish sauce, each with its unique flavor profile and production methods.

What is the difference between Nuoc Nam and nuoc mam?

The monikers “Nước Chấm” and “Nước Mắm Pha” both refer to the same delightful sauce. “Nước Chấm” denotes a sauce for dipping while “Nước Mắm Pha” describes a concoction consisting of mixed fish sauce. Given that Nước Chấm is primarily comprised of fish sauce blended with a handful of other comestibles, Nước Mắm Pha is an equally fitting name.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, Vietnamese sauces are a must-try for anyone looking to add some depth and flavor to their meals. From the classic nuoc cham to the versatile fish dipping sauce, there’s something for every taste bud. With simple ingredients like fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar, you can create vibrant and flavorful condiments that are perfect for any Vietnamese dish or even as a dip for your favorite snacks.

So why not give these sauces a try? I promise you won’t be disappointed. Impress your friends and family with your knowledge of Vietnamese cuisine and take your taste buds on a flavorful journey. With a few key ingredients and some creativity, the possibilities are endless. So go ahead and experiment with different variations and substitutions to make these sauces your own.

In the end, these sauces are more than just condiments – they’re an essential part of Vietnamese culture and heritage. By mastering these recipes, you’re not only enhancing your culinary repertoire but also expanding your knowledge and appreciation of another culture. So what are you waiting for? Grab those ingredients and get cooking!

Vietnamese Sauces

Vietnamese Sauces Recipe

Two vital sauces if you cook vietnamese 🙂 The Nuoc Cham is presented in regular and vegetarian forms. Once again from the best cookbook: Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet.
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Appetizer/Sauce
Cuisine Vietnamese
Calories 82.3 kcal


Vietnamese Must-Have Table Sauce (Nuoc Cham)

  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 bird chile, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon shredded carrot

Vegetarian Nuoc Cham

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemongrass, finely cpped
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 bird chile, minced
  • 1 teaspoon peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Vietnamese Peanut Sauce

  • 1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind powder (dissolved in the 2 T warm water)
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 2 teaspoons peanut oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons ground pork
  • 3 tablespoons fermented soybean paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 -2 bird chile, minced
  • lime juice


  • Nooc Cham (regular and vegetarian):
  • Combine all the ingredients and dissolve the sugar completely. This works easily with stevia instead of the sugar. I use 2-4 drops.
  • Keeps in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Store in tightly sealed glass container in the fridge.
  • Vietnamese Peanut Sauce:
  • Using a food processor or mortar, pound peanuts to a course powder. Set aside.
  • Sieve the tamarind and water. Set aside the liquid, discard the solids.
  • Heat the oil in a wok or skillet over high heat. Add garlic and stir fry about 15 seconds, until color begins to change. Toss in the pork and cook until it is cooked through.
  • Add soybean paste and tamarind and stir until blended. Add 1/2 cup of water. Then stir in most of the ground peanuts (reserve 1 T for garnish). Add the sguar and chiles. Add water until you reach the desired texture (thick and pourable, but not watery).
  • Serve at room temperature or warmer. Squeeze a lime over it and add the reserved peanuts.
  • This keeps in the refrigerator for 3 days or freezes for one month. Reheat before serving.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 86gCalories: 82.3kcalCarbohydrates: 6.5gProtein: 3gFat: 5.3gSaturated Fat: 0.8gCholesterol: 0.2mgSodium: 1130mgFiber: 0.7gSugar: 3.6g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Asian, Sauces, Vietnamese
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