Kim Dao and her husband, Hong Pham, publish the blog, inspired mainly by the Vietnamese cooking of their families. They like to serve this tangy sauce, based on the classic Vietnamese table sauce nuoc mam cham, with a rich, crisply fried appetizer called Firecracker Shrimp--but they thicken it slightly for dipping. For serving with noodle bowls, they recommend skipping the cornstarch step so it's easier to drizzle.

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Credit: Thomas J. Story Styling: Joni Noe

Recipe Summary

25 mins
Makes about 3 cups (serving size: 1 tbsp.)


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • In a saucepan over medium-high heat, heat 2 cups water, then stir in sugar, fish sauce, and vinegar. Stir to dissolve sugar.

  • If not thickening the sauce, let it cool, then stir in ginger, garlic, and lime juice. Add Sriracha and/or chile.

  • If thickening the sauce, after sugar dissolves in Step 1, ladle 1/4 cup of mixture into a bowl and stir in cornstarch. Pour back into saucepan and simmer, stirring, until as thick as maple syrup, 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool and add remaining ingredients as in Step

Nutrition Facts

14 calories; calories from fat 6%; protein 0.2g; fat 0.1g; carbohydrates 2.6g; sodium 233mg.