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Nuoc Cham

  • Yield: About 1/3 cup


  • 1 small fresh chile pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 fresh lime
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (nuoc nam)
  • 3 tablespoons water


  • Stem the chile. Split the chile in half, remove and discard the seeds and membrane. Finely chop the chile. Combine the chopped chile, garlic and sugar in a mortar. Pound the mixture into a paste. Remove the zest and pith from the lime, and discard. Add the lime to the chile mixture. Mash well. Add the fish sauce and the water. Mix well. Serve as a seasoning agent instead of salt and pepper.