What in the Vietnamese culinary repertoire is quick and easy? The answer could be dipping sauces – or “nuoc cham” in Vietnamese.

Some might wonder if “nuoc mam” (fish sauce) runs in the veins of Vietnamese people. Indeed it is almost synonymous with Vietnamese cuisine and is used as a flavoring agent, dipping sauce, and dressing for countless dishes.

Unlike in many Western traditions where the best sauces begin with fresh stock and require considerable time to make, Vietnamese sauces are typically uncooked. They're made with a handful of simple ingredients such as garlic, chiles and lime, then mixed with fish sauce - the quintessential seasoning in our cuisine.

Similar to dressings, the sauces are served at room temperature and can be prepared in minutes. But their simplicity is deceptive, because when served with other ingredients or dishes, the results are usually magical. Although sweet, sour, salty and spicy all at once, the flavors and textures were delicately balanced.

Vietnamese Dipping Sauce is versatile enough to be served with rice noodles, fried rice, stir-fries and salads, such as one made with pomelo or grapefruit and grilled shrimp. We also love this sauce for dipping spring rolls, salad rolls or any small pieces of meat or seafood that have been wrapped in lettuce and herbs.

And how the best-quality fish sauce is made, let’s discover in our next post!