Nước mắm chấm (Vietnamese dipping sauce)

  • Servings : 4
  • Prep Time : 10m
  • Cook Time : 30m
  • Ready In : 40m

… or Vietnamese dipping sauce. This sauce is ubiquitous to the Vietnamese kitchen and is present at every meal, along with table salad. Before learning to make other Vietnamese dishes, you should master this dip.

Note that this is a basic recipe and you’ll probably want to adjust the sweetness, tartness or saltiness of the sauce to your own liking. Go crazy experimenting to find that perfect blend for your own palate!

You can substitute the distilled vinegar with anything sour. I always have distilled vinegar at home but you could use lemon juice, lime juice, rice vinegar, white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, etc., anything that takes your fancy. Use only half the amount and then taste to adjust the tartness.

Last but not least, to Kevin and Viet of the TranCanCook YouTube fame – there’s no way you can call this sauce carrot sauce! That’s just wrong!!! The carrot doesn’t make the sauce, it’s just there for aesthetic content!

This sauce pairs well with grilled lemongrass pork.


  • 150mL water
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed (optional)
  • 2 bird's eye chilies, chopped (optional)
  • Julienne some carrots and add to the sauce to marinate


Step 1

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a mixing bowl ensuring that the sugar is dissolved Add the rest of the ingredients (except for the carrots) and mix well The sauce should sweet, tart, and salty at the same time. Adjust to taste

Step 2

Add the carrots into the sauce and marinate for at least 1 hour.

Step 3

Can keep in the fridge for up to one month.

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