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Author Notes: This is my mother-in-law's nước mắm pha -- the dipping sauce that she keeps in the fridge as a sauce for summer and spring rolls and to flavor vermicelli bowls and rice dishes. According to her, this sauce is all about the order in which you add the ingredients. I'm not sure if it makes a difference or not, but it's so delicious as is that I don't dare to deviate. —stephanie le
Makes 1 cup
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 bird's eye chili
- 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- Crush the garlic, chili, and sugar together with a mortar and pestle until the garlic and chili are a paste. Add the paste to the water and mix well. Add the lime juice, mix, and then stir in the fish sauce. Set the sauce aside in the fridge until needed. If you have the foresight, make this the day before and let the flavors meld overnight.
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