Nuoc mam is a delicious dipping sauce and vinaigrette that is easy to make and accompanies a lot of Vietnamese cuisines. Learn what dishes pair with with this balance of sweet, sour, and salty flavors.
If you have ever frequented a Vietnamese restaurant, you may remember small bowls of dipping sauce that had a slightly yellow opaque color with floating peppers and garlic called nuoc mam. These small bowls of delicious dipping sauce or vinaigrette (depending on how you use it) pack a punch to your already delicious dish.
People either love or hate nuoc mam. I'm obviously one who absolutely love nuoc mam because I grew up with it. Here's my favorite nuoc mam recipe - it is such a versatile sauce that can be used to enhance a dish.
And if you love nuoc mam, check out my easy nuoc mam recipe that provides a delicious meld of sweet, sour, and salty flavors that provide a refreshingly light flavor to your meal.
Nuoc mam is generally made in batches. If sealed correctly (see my recipe for tips), it can last a few weeks.
What tastes good with nuoc mam?
In it's most common and popular uses, nuoc mam pairs really well with fried Vietnamese egg rolls as well as a dressing over vermicelli noodles with grilled meats.
What can be used as a substitute for nuoc mam?
There really isn't a great substitute for nuoc mam as it melds a few simple ingredients to make a delicious, complex sauce. Nuoc mam at the heart of it is made with fish sauce and lime juice that is sweetened with sugar that could potentially be used as separate ingredients with a dish.
Different Ways to Use Nuoc Mam
Having nuoc mam ready and on hand makes it a wonderful condiment to any of these popular ways to use nuoc mam. This includes:
- Vietnamese spring rolls
- Vietnamese egg rolls
- Grilled meats
- Vermicelli bowls
- Banh Xeo
- Banh Cuon
- Salad Dressing
- Banh Tet
I've gone ahead linked my favorite recipes that you can try below.