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 Iâ€™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, thatâ€™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. Itâ€™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 doesnâ€™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 itâ€™s friendlier to the boys. You may totally omit the chili itâ€™s still good, or add more if you want a really spicy kick. Doesnâ€™t have to go with strictly Vietnamese food â€“ 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 onâ€¦
- 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.