Diane’s Vietnamese Fish Sauce Dip (Nước Mắm/Chấm)

Course: Appetizer, Dips, Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Vietnamese
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 cup
Calories: 5 kcal
Adjust the flavors to your liking. Everyone has their own version and this is my favorite ratio that isn’t too watered down like many restaurant versions. I like the balance of bold flavors in the fish sauce, garlic, chiles and most importantly, acid from the fresh lime juice. I don’t make mine too sweet either, but it’s still delicious if you like yours sweeter. Have fun to fine tune your favorite ratios!


  • 1/4 cup fish sauce (brand I use is Flying Lion Phu Quoc )
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice , or to taste
  • 3 large garlic cloves (preferably mashed in a mortar and pestle but minced will work fine)
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar , or to taste
  • 1-2 fresh thai chiles , to taste
  • 1 teaspoon crushed fresh ginger root (optional for another variation)


  1. Combine all ingredients (fish sauce, water, lime juice, garlic, sugar, chiles, and optional ginger) in a bowl and stir until the sugar is fully dissolved. Or in a mason jar, add all ingredients and shake the dickens out of it.
  2. Serve the dip on or with whatever your heart desires. And don't forget to offer a side of breath mints after the meal. You can store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. Enjoy!