Our first taste of Vietnamese Cuisine was in one of the restaurants along the famous Houhai Lake in Beijing probably a decade ago. With the spread that we had (and I’d say it was quite a lot of dishes!) my first thought was that among the Southeast Asian nations Vietnamese is the closest to our cuisine. Well, that’s just my opinion.
Anyway, I have tried cooking few Vietnamese-style dishes myself and would definitely share them to you but in the meantime, this dipping sauce should go up first. It’s very easy to prepare and may probably remind you of few Filipino sawsawan (dipping sauces) such as chili-infused vinegar with garlic, salt and pepper or that combination of patis (fish sauce), kalamansi and chili. I would describe this as a bit tamer in the way that it has sugar and the proportion of ingredients beautifully complements each other that doesn’t make it either too sour or too tangy I end up sipping my left-over condiment.
I also added just a hint of chili so that it’s friendlier to the boys. You may totally omit the chili it’s still good, or add more if you want a really spicy kick. Doesn’t have to go with strictly Vietnamese food – it perfectly complements quite a number of fried, steamed or grilled meat, fish and vegetables. Pritong tilapia or bangus, inihaw na porkchops, ensaladong talong at kamatis, the list can go on…
- ⅓ cup warm water
- 3 tbsp sugar
- Juice of 1 lime juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 small dried chili, deseeded and chopped
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- In a bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water.
- Stir in lime juice, garlic and chili.
- Lastly, stir in fish sauce. Ready to go.
Below is a more ‘potent’ version – 1 tbsp sugar, 3 tbsp lime juice, 2 tbsp fish sauce, 1 clove garlic, minced, chopped dry chili.