Nuoc Mam Gung (Ginger Dipping Sauce)

Nuoc Mam Gung is a ginger dipping sauce which makes full use of the pungency that can only be found in Vietnamese cuisine. The flavours complement Nuoc Leo which is a peanut dipping sauce of similar renown.

Serve this sauce with steamed or poached fish and chicken, especially chicken wings, with various seafood such as shrimp and catfish and all part of a general dinner  with steamed rice.

Use a classic pestle and mortar to release the flavours of the ginger and the chilli.

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Serving size: 1/2 cup



  • 2-3 tablespoons of peeled, coarsely chopped fresh ginger.
  • 1 -2 small onions or scallions, thinly sliced, no need to use any green parts.
  • 3 Thai bird chillies, Thai demon chilli, Californian Reaper (but only for incredible heat) but others of a similar heat level do. No need to remove the seeds as the heat is needed. Slice thin.
  • 2 garlic cloves – chop roughly
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh lime juice and a little of the zest – how much is up to you.
  • 2 tablespoons of dark brown or demerara sugar. You can use palm sugar too for a slightly different take.
  • 3 tablespoons of fish sauce.


  1. Using a pestle and mortar, add all the ingredients excepts the lime juice and fish sauce together and pound away to make a paste. If this equipment is not available then put in a kitchen blender and pulse blitz to get a rough paste. Don’t overdo otherwise it comes out strangely cloying and sticky.
  2. Add the lime juice and fish sauce and stir in.
  3. Leave for 20 minutes for the flavour to infuse properly.
  4. Use immediately or pour into a glass jar such as a small one, seal with a lid and keep in the refrigerator. Use within two days!
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