Vietnamese fish sauce dipping sauce
The Bold Vietnamese Sauce That Takes Sweet And Savory To New Heights
Vietnamese cuisine is full of savory, sweet, tangy, and spicy sauces, such as the spring roll dipping sauce nước chấm. Mắm nêm is a similar yet quite unique sauce you should try.
The wildly underrated mắm nêm is an acquired taste, but if you pair it with pho, grilled catfish, or spring rolls, you'll never look back. It's most popular in central Vietnam.
Mắm nêm has a pungent base of fish sauce made with fermented anchovies, which is combined with sugar, garlic, lemongrass, lime juice, and canned crushed pineapple.
The sweet and sour pineapple and sugar complement and round out the deeply savory fish flavors, while the other aromatics add brightness, depth, and a citrusy touch.
You can also add some chili paste to make the sauce spicy. You can find bottled mắm nêm online or at an Asian specialty store, but it only takes 10 minutes to make your own.
The first step is to add the aromatics to a hot pan with oil. Once they're fragrant, add the other ingredients and mix well, then finish it with a squeeze of lime before serving.
Mắm nêm is typically eaten with beef dishes like Vietnamese grilled meat. It's also delicious on noodles and salads, and will keep in the fridge for weeks in an airtight container.