A Recipe of Taste: Nuoc Cham
Nuoc Cham is all about the balance of flavors and personal preference. The basic components of this universal dipping sauce are always the same: Salty (fish sauce), Sour (lime juice and vinegar), Sweet (palm sugar), Spicy(chilis). BUT THE RATIOS IN EACH RECIPE ARE ALWAYS DIFFERENT! Every Vietnamese family has a proprietary recipe pulsing through their veins. But since I didn't grow up Vietnamese, what will I put in my IV drip? I guess I will have to try all the recipes out to decide...
Meanwhile, this one has been working out for me: Bring 1/4 water, 1t vinegar, and 1T sugar to boil. Remove from flame. Allow to cool. Mix in 1T lime juice, 2T fish sauce, 2 crushed garlic cloves, 2 chopped thai chilis.
(Adapted from Bobby Chinn)