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The Washington Post

Nuoc Cham

Nuoc Cham 2.500
Apr 21, 2010

Traditionally, this sauce is made by pounding garlic, chili peppers and sugar with a mortar and pestle to form a thick paste. Then the liquid is mixed in to create a sauce.

To change the yield of this recipe, use this formula: 1 part fish sauce, 1 part lime juice or vinegar, 1 part sugar and 2 parts water.

Make Ahead: This version tastes fresher with lime juice, but use vinegar and do not add the garlic, chili peppers and carrot (until just before serving) if you intend to store it. With vinegar, the sauce will keep in the refrigerator for a month or longer. You can always freshen the sauce with squirts of lime juice before subsequent uses.


Servings: 2.5 cups
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup fish sauce, or more to taste
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 3 or 4 limes (1/2 cup; may substitute distilled white vinegar), or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup sugar, or more to taste
  • 1 cup water
  • Chopped garlic
  • Red Thai bird chili peppers, stemmed, seeded and cut crosswise into thin slices
  • Shredded carrot

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Directions

Combine the fish sauce and lime juice in medium bowl.

Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Let cool, then add to the fish sauce mixture. Taste and adjust for sweetness, sourness and saltiness by adding sugar, lime juice or fish sauce.

If you will serve the sauce right away, add the garlic, Thai chili peppers and carrot to taste; otherwise, add those ingredients to taste just before serving. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.


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Recipe Source

Adapted from Washington writer Julie Wan.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

E-mail questions to the Food Section.

E-mail questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 10


% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 0g 0%

Saturated Fat: 0g 0%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 280mg 12%

Total Carbohydrates: 3g 1%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 3g

Protein: 0g


*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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