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Vietnamese-Style Spicy Fish Sauce

A Recipe of Kasma Loha-unchit
Recipe Copyright © 1998 Kasma Loha-unchit.

For more background on fish sauce, read Kasma's article Flavoring Food with Fish Sauce.


  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 red hot chile pepper, chopped;
    or substitute with 1 tsp. bottled red chile paste
  • 1/4 cup Vietnamese fish sauce (Thai fish sauce can be substituted)
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

Pound the chopped garlic and chile with a mortar and pestle and reduce them to a fine paste. Add the fish sauce, lime juice, vinegar, sugar and water. Stir well to blend.

If desired, add a small amount of shredded carrot and daikon.

Notes and Pointers

This is the Vietnamese equivalent to the Thai prik nahm bplah (chillies with fish sauce), which is used in Thailand as a salt and pepper equivalent. The Thai recipe is a simple mixture of Thai chiles (bird peppers) and fish sauce (nahm bplah) – 3-5 chiles cut into thin rounds with seeds to 2 Tbs. fish sauce.

Copyright © 1998 Kasma Loha-unchit. All rights reserved.

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