Two Great Asian Dipping Sauces

DSC_1887-1024x680Making Asian food at home is really quite easy, but like any other cuisine, you just need to stock up on all of the staples (in this case, fish and soy sauce, sesame oil, etc.). Then once the craving strikes, you’re ready to go.

These two sauces are fantastic for spring rolls, cold noodles, or to drizzle on top of a salad, and I think they’re more interesting than what I’ve had in some restaurants. The lime in the nuoc cham sauce gives it a brightness that feels new and fresh, and the peanut sauce is slightly spicy because I added extra red pepper flakes (as is the nuoc cham sauce with the chopped chile), but neither is blow-your-head-off spicy. They’re both nicely balanced by the other ingredients, which is why I love Asian food.

Plus both take about 30 seconds to whisk together. Gotta love that.

I made both of these sauces to go with a batch of homemade spring rolls, which were eaten before they could be photographed (and honestly, they were not terribly pretty), but I plan to make them again soon, and when I do, you’ll see them right here.

Road trip to Plano to go to 99 Ranch! Who’s in?

Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce

Makes about 1 cup

Adapted from a recipe in Gourmet, December 2004

  •           2 tablespoons of sugar
  •          ½ cup of warm water
  •          3 tablespoons of Asian fish sauce
  •          1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
  •          1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
  •          1 clove of garlic, minced
  •          ¼ of a Thai chile, finely chopped, or a jalapeño (I used a jalapeño, because this is what I had on hand)

This is a recipe that you need to taste as you go. It’s a wonderful, bright sauce punctuated by lime. Just whisk everything together and serve.

Spicy Peanut Sauce

Makes about 1 cup

 Adapted from a recipe found on the kitchn website

  •          2 heaping tablespoons of creamy or chunky peanut butter
  •          2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
  •          1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  •          2 teaspoons of sugar
  •          1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  •          a few tablespoons (2 to 3) of water, to thin out the sauce

 Whisk everything together in a small bowl. Serve right away. Easy!