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Fish Sauce - Nuoc Mam

There is a Vietnamese saying that said: "Khong an mam, khong phai la nguoi Viet Nam." It basically means "Not eating fish sauce (or paste), is not Vietnamese." "Nuoc Mam", or fish sauce, is the most basic ingredient in every Vietnamese home.  Vietnamese foods is developed into distintive flavors from the North, South, and Middle of Vietnam. However, nuoc mam, with its pungent smell, tangy, salty flavor is used widely in almost every Vietnamese dish, no matter what region. Not only is nuoc mam used to enhance flavors when cooking soups, meat, vegetable dishes, etc...by itself it is a good product to use as a sauce, or to make into a sauce with other ingredients. You could eat almost anything with some type of nuoc mam as a dip. Think of Vietnamese springrolls (bi cuon), egg rolls(cha gio), salads (goi), flat noodles (banh cuon), vermicelli (bun) even fruit (green mangoes) and you think of nuoc mam. In fact, my mother, the ever so wise lady, insisted that without a good fish sauce, these dishes would not have the right flavor they truly deserve. With that said, below you will find a basic fish sauce recipe I usually use to eat with bun, goi cuon, banh cuon, etc..... Though the ingredients are the same in many cases, you must adjust the amount of ingredients like water, sugar, and fish sauce based on the type of food you're eating .... For example, don't put a lot of water in if you're using it for goi (salad).. ..and if you can't eat hot foods, don't put in 10 fresh Thai chili peppers. :) 

Nuoc Mam Cham 


Ingredients:
4 Table spoons of fish sauce 
2 1/2 Table spoons of sugar
1 cup of warm water
1 fresh lime to juice
3 cloves of garlic (finely minced)
3 fresh Thai chili red peppers (finely minced)

Instructions:

Put Fish sauce, sugar, and water into medium bowl, stir gently until all sugar dissolved.
Squeeze lime juice into sauce
Put in  minced garlic and chili peppers on top

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Aug. 22nd, 2007 02:50 am (UTC)
um yummy
I want some nước mắm
(Anonymous)
Aug. 22nd, 2007 06:19 pm (UTC)
You are the best cook.
CT
mizzj
Nov. 16th, 2007 12:34 pm (UTC)
Sometimes when I don't have fresh limes, I use white vinegar as a substitute and it still tastes yum :D
vietwanderer
Nov. 17th, 2007 02:26 am (UTC)
That's a very good idea! I think my Mom does that too when we run out of limes.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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