International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Nuoc Cham

Nuoc Cham (Vietnamese salty-sour dipping sauce)

(Vietnamese salty-sour dipping sauce)

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Average: 4.1 (50 votes)

Nuoc cham is the all-purpose Vietnamese condiment served with and poured over many dishes. Its salty-sour flavor is wonderfully bright and fresh.

About 1 cup


  • Water -- 1/4 cup
  • Fish sauce -- 1/4 cup
  • Lime juice -- 3 tablespoons
  • Unseasoned rice vinegar, unseasoned -- 2 tablespoons
  • Sugar -- 2 tablespoons
  • Garlic, crushed -- 1 clove
  • Chile pepper, sliced into rounds -- 1
  • Carrot, shredded or julienne -- 1 tablespoon


  1. In a large bowl, mix together the water, fish sauce, lime juice, vinegar and sugar until the sugar is dissolve. Adjust seasoning, adding more lime juice if too sweet, more sugar if too sour and more fish sauce if it needs more salt.
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients and let set for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to mingle. Nuoc cham will keep for about a week in the refrigerator.

Nuoc Cham Variations

  • Vegetarian nuoc cham: Use light soy sauce instead of fish sauce.
  • If you use seasoned (sweetened) rice vinegar, cut the amount of sugar in the recipe to 1 tablespoon.


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