Have you ever questioned what makes one dish better than another? Well, to me (and most of Chefs and cooks out there), the sauce comes with a particular dish is the main ingredient that decides whether it tastes flawless. In Southeast Asian cuisine, fish sauce is the most used ingredient and has the most impact on our cooking culture. Almost every dish must and should be compatible with chili garlic fish sauce dipping sauce.
There are a lot of versions of dipping sauce which has fish sauce as a base. The key that makes one is different from another is the ratio between fish sauce and the rest of the ingredients (lime juice, sugar, water, vinegar, etc). You only need to lower the amount of sugar in one recipe then voila, you’ll have a brand new version of dipping sauce.
Today chili garlic fish sauce dipping sauce recipe is a perfect match for any kind of Asian style salad (or vinaigrette based salad), spring rolls, rice rolls (banh cuon) or this sweet chili grilled grilled salmon. I’m using a ratio 1:1:2 :1/2 [fish sauce (FS) to sugar (S) to water (W) to lime juice (LJ)] for this dipping sauce. Normally, other recipes would call for an adjustable amount of lime juice, but as a person who’s working in a commercial kitchen, consistent is the key here. So if I want to make the perfect dipping sauce I need to have a perfect ratio regarding every single ingredient.
The type of fish sauce you’re using is matter too. This recipe is call for 33N fish sauce. You can use any brand but beware of the N-level. N-level is the industry standard used to measure the amount of nitrogen. Technically, the more N-level it has, the more salty it will be as for containing more protein level. More information about fish sauce level can be found here on Red Boat Fish Sauce website.
Chili Garlic Fish Sauce Dipping Sauce
- 3 oz fish sauce 33N (see notes above)
- 6 oz warm water
- 3 oz granulated sugar
- 1.5 oz lime juice
- 2 bulb garlic smashed or finely minced (keep the juice)
- 3 Thai chili finely minced
- In a small mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together (except garlic and chili) and whisk until everything is combined.
- Add garlic and its juice (if any) and chili afterward.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.