Nuoc Cham (Vietnam)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 small, hot, red chile pepper, seeds and membranes removed
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 fresh lime, juice and pulp only
- 4 tablespoons fish sauce*
- 2 to 4 tablespoons water, according to taste
* Also known as nuoc mam, it is available in finer supermarkets and Asian specialty
Purists insist that the garlic and chili pepper be ground together in a mortar
and pestle, although acceptable results can be obtained by processing all the ingredients
in a food processor. The traditional procedure is as follows:
- Combine the garlic and chile pepper in a mortar and mash with the pestle until
a paste is formed.
- Squeeze the lime juice into the paste, then remove the pulp from
the lime and add it to the mixture.
- Mash to a paste again, and add the fish sauce and water, stirring to combine.
Makes about 1/2 cup to serve 4 to 6