7 Authentic Vietnamese Sauces That Will Astound You

Most Vietnamese cuisines include Vietnamese Dipping Sauce (Nuoc Cham). From North to South Vietnam, there are hundreds of dipping sauce recipes. Recipes are influenced by regional preferences as well as personal inclinations. Most Vietnamese dipping sauces are unique and unfamiliar to many foreigners, particularly Westerners. They do, however, play essential roles in Vietnamese cuisine. Sauces enhance the flavor and aroma of practically all Vietnamese foods. A journey to Vietnam would be incomplete without sampling traditional Vietnamese cuisine.


Nuoc Mam – Dipping Fish Sauce

One of the most popular Vietnamese dipping sauces is made from fish sauce. Recipes vary, but fish sauce dips are common. Vietnamese folks typically dip food in raw fish sauce topped some slices of chilli.

Fish sauce, garlic, lemon juice, sugar (coconut water), and chili are combined to make a sweet and sour fish sauce dip (optional). This sauce is required for eating the famous Vietnamese spring rolls, Vietnamese pancakes, broken rice, boiled pork, grilled foods, and so on.

The finest way to eat grilled dry meals, grilled dishes, seafood dishes... is with a fish sauce dip with tamarind.

Vietnamese people make a sweet fish sauce dip with ginger to enjoy with duck and snail meals.


Tuong – Dipping Sauce from Fermented Soybean

Aside from the well-known fish sauce and shrimp paste, “tuong” is a fermented bean paste created from soybeans that is low in fat and calories while being high in protein, fiber, and important vitamins and minerals.

The way of using Tuong varies in different parts of Vietnam. In North Vietnam, most people prefer Tuong ban – a kind of Fermented soybean which is rather sweet to dip boiled vegetables and burnt calf. In South Vietnam, people like Tuong sauce that is made by mixing Fermented soybean, coconut milk, steamed sticky rice, garlic and sugar to grilled pork or beef. In Central Vietnam, a mixture of fermented soybeans and liver is mashed and cooked to form a particular sauce that is used to dip grilled pork patties.


Mam Tom – Dipping Sauce from Fermented Shrimp Paste

Mam tom is made by grinding fresh shrimp with wine, then combining it with salt and storing it in jars for 6 months. Mam tom is, in fact, more popular in North Vietnam than in South and Central Vietnam.

Vietnamese make a special sauce by combining raw fermented shrimp paste with lemon juice/vinegar, garlic, chili, and sugar, then stir well. This sauce goes well with eggplant, fried tofu, Bun rieu (crab rice noodle soup), Bun oc (snail rice noodle soup) ... It is the soul of the famous Bun dau mam tom (Rice noodles with fermented shrimp paste), a Hanoi capital specialty meal.


Mam Tom Chua - Pickled Shrimp Sauce

Shrimp, galangal, garlic, chile, wine, fish sauce, and sugar are the main ingredients in Mam tom chua. They prepare a tasty sweet, sour, and hot sauce by combining pickled shrimp, shredded green papaya, chili (optional), and sugar. People in the Mekong Delta typically consume boiling pork, veggies, and herbs dipped in Pickled Shrimp sauce with steaming rice or rice noodles. We also wrap boiling pork, veggies, herbs, and rice noodles in rice paper and consume it with Pickled shrimp sauce.


Mam Ruoc – Dipping Sauce from Fermented Acetes Paste

Acetes is a tiny shrimp genus. Fermented acetes paste has a distinct taste and color from fermented shrimp paste. While fermented shrimp paste is popular in North Vietnam, fermented acetes paste is popular in Central and South Vietnam. They prepare a delicious sauce by cooking raw Mam ruoc with minced lemongrass, salt, sugar, and chile (optional). Mam ruoc sauce is served with green mango, boiling pork, steamed rice...


Mam Nem – Dipping Sauce from Fermented Fish Paste

Mam nem developed in Central Vietnam, a region rich in savory dishes. To prepare dipping sauce, Vietnamese cooks typically combine raw fermented fish paste, pineapple, and spices. It goes well with cooked pork, rice noodles, rice vermicelli sheets, wet cake... Dipping Mam nem is essential for various Central Vietnamese specialties such as Danang roll with pork and Hue pig patties.


Chao - Fermented Bean Curd Sauce

Although Chao is not as well-known as other sauces in Vietnamese cuisine, it is a favorite of Vietnamese people, particularly vegetarians. Chao sauce is easy to make; simply add spices and heat for a few minutes. Nothing beats dipping boiling vegetables in Fermented bean curd sauce and eating with steamed rice. Furthermore, Chao is the ideal sauce for grilled goat meat, hot pot with goat, fish salads...



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