Nước chấm

Vietnamese Sauce Nuoc Cham Recipe
This Vietnamese condiment is the total package.

Nước chấm is a Vietnamese sauce that strikes that elusive balance between sweet, sour, salty, and spicy. Fish sauce already has an enormous amount of depth, and its earthy umami-ness is brightened up by fresh lime juice and a generous amount of sugar. But don’t let the sugar make you shy– a little of this sauce goes a long way!

Yup, this awesome condiment puts the “ka-pow” in tons of dishes! I especially love it with Vietnamese Vermicelli Bowls, Summer Rolls, and Bánh Tôm (Vietnamese Sweet Potato Fritters!)

Be sure to get the spice element for this sauce from thinly sliced bird’s eye chilies if you can get your hands on them– their flavor is unmatched! As you can see, you may also use red pepper flakes like I did in these photos.

Vietnamese Sauce Nuoc Cham Recipe

Nước chấm Recipe

Nuoc Cham

Course: condiments + dressings
Servings: 6 Servings


  • 1/2 cup hot water hot water will dissolve and absorb the sugar best
  • 4-5 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 3 + 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 clove garlic grated or pressed (optional)
  • 1 thinly sliced birds eye chili or 1/4 tsp red pepper flake


  • Combine all ingredients and stir well until the sugar has dissolved completely.

Tell me what you think in the comments below!

Vietnamese Sauce Nuoc Cham Recipe

What’s your favorite condiment?

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