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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

If Martha made Vietnamese-- Nước Chấm or Traditional Vietnamese Dipping Sauce

This isn't really a recipe that you would make all on its own.  This Caucasian girl is guessing that it's kinda like bar-b-que sauce or ketchup.  A dipping sauce!  I mean who doesn't like to dip?  This condiment is super easy to make and really a necessity for many Vietnamese dishes, like those wonderful fried spring rolls, (recipe here) or bò nướng xả (grilled beef skewers with lemon grass) which is one of the yummiest things I have ever ever made!  Gotta toot my own horn there 'cause it's just that good!  It's the next recipe I'm putting together for ya'll.  Hang on a minute while I get a kleenex to wipe the spittle off my lip...

...Pavlov was a genius!  I am a kindred spirit with those dogs of his!  A little drool at even the thought of yummy food...

...ok, I'm back from being distracted.

Nước chấm is a dipping sauce for many Vietnamese dishes.  It's a thin, sweet and sour sauce that typically has shredded carrots in it.  If you've eaten at a Vietnamese restaurant, you've seen it.  Once prepared, it will keep in the fridge for a couple weeks.  Again, all the ingrediants are easy to find at your local Asian market.

Gather up just these few ingredients
1 c warm water
1/3 c fish sauce
1/3 cup sugar
3 T lime (fresh squeezed is always best)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 t chili paste or dried chili flakes (optional)
shredded carrot, a small handful

Stir them together to make sure the sugar is dissolved.  And serve with your meal in those cute little individual serving bowls. 

That's it!
My 13 year old can do it!
My 11 year old can do it!
My 7 year old could do it but he's WAY too busy picking out his BEST outfit for his clandestine recess rendezvous next to the monkey bars with Grace!  (Ya'll think I should give Grace's parents a call?  If anything to tell them that we're raising an upstanding young man with morals?  Or maybe just to alert them to the cuteness of it all?)

A note on the shredded carotts.  Ya, you all could shred your own, but lazy me bought them at the Asian market just like this. Easy peasy.

Since this post has a theme of getting distracted, I have to pause for this...
Papa says this is his new ketchup!  Beware.  It is zingy.  And very flavorful. 

Ok... keeping with our theme of distraction...  This decrepit economy is so far from over or easing up in my neck of the woods.  Our family has changed MANY of its ways.  Normally I wouldn't have asked.  But I asked Papa if we could spare a little money to purchase a new cook book.  It came in the mail this week!  Again with the Palovian response and a little spittle!  Any other phych majors out there?

Into the Vietnamese Kitchen by Andrea Nguyen.  While the photography is really quite pretty, I especially loved her short blurbs about each recipe.  Again, this white girl is far from a good cook, but I can read and learn. 

Tree fungus?  Hmmmmm... Not sure 'bout that one.

This one is called "happy pancakes" at our favorite little Vietnamese restaurant.  It's yummy too, and it always makes me smile to think about "happy pancakes!"  It's an egg-type crepe appetizer wrapped in lettuce leaves then dipped in nuoc cham.  I was glad to run across this recipe and may try it next.

Or maybe my sweet tooth will take over and demand I make this.  Really it's not my fault!  Blame it on the tooth!

I'd better go get something to eat before I start to devour my young!


  1. I shouldn't visit your blog when I am hungry. When am I ever going to learn?!

  2. really really want to make these. someday i will find a market around here and get brave. keep it comin'!


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