Spicy Thai Dipping Sauce


  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons Red Boat fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon (packed) palm sugar or light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated peeled ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely minced red or green Thai chile (with seeds)

Recipe Preparation

  • Whisk all ingredients and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl to combine. Let sit for at least 10 minutes for flavors to meld.

Recipe by The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen

Nutritional Content

1 tablespoon per serving, 1 serving contains: Calories (kcal) 15 Fat (g) 0 Saturated Fat (g) 0 Cholesterol (mg) 0 Carbohydrates (g) 3 Dietary Fiber (g) 0 Total Sugars (g) 3 Protein (g) 0 Sodium (mg) 40Reviews Section

  • Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup of Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Rice Vinegar (you can substitue with white vinegar, but it’s stronger)
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp finely minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp or less Siracha/ Hot sauce (optional)
  • 1 tbsp of cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp of cold water (to dissolve the cornstarch)
  • 1/2 tbsp fish sauce (or 1/2 tsp salt if you don’t have any)

Step 1

- Start with 3/4 cup of sugar in a small sauce pan.
- Add the rice vinegar and water to the sugar and turn the heat to a medium high. Bring the sugar solution to a boil while stirring, until the all the sugar is dissolved.
- Add the finely minced garlic and crushed red pepper.
- For some extra heat and color you can add some siracha or hot sauce to it. I like it to have a little zip to it after the initial sweet flavor. Let the sauce simmer bubble for a few minutes until it thickens slightly and all the flavors blend in.
- In the meantime, dissolve 1 tablespoon of corn startch in a tablespoon of cold water until there are no lumps in it.
- Turn the heat up to a rapid bubble and pour in the cornstarch slurry in the sauce and stir it well.
- You’ll notice the sauce thicken faster and you can turn the heat down again. Lastly, add 1/2 tbsp of fish sauce for some saltiness or a 1/2 tsp of regular salt and stir it in. Turn off the heat and let the sauce cool down.
- Serve as a dipping sauce, or toss a couple tablespoons in a stir fry for sweet and spicy dish! Bottled or in an air-tight container this sauce lasts a long time in the fridge.

What Is Thai Chili Dipping Sauce or Nam Jim Jaew?

Nam jim jaew is a dipping sauce originating from the Isan or Northeastern region of Thailand. Though, you can easily find it throughout the country. People from that region move to different parts of Thailand. And a lot of them open an Isan restaurant or become a street food vendor selling Isan food. To many Thais, this sauce is a favorite because it’s got everything you need. It’s sour, sweet, spicy, and comes with a smoky flavor and crunchy texture. While a few other Thai sauces use fresh chilies, nam jim jaew is different in that it uses roasted Thai dried chili flakes or prik bon.

In this post, I’ll explain what other ingredients you need, how to make nam jim jaew, and what you can enjoy it with.

Thai Roast Chicken with Thai Chili Dipping Sauce (Nam Jim Jaew)

Thai Roast Chicken is my favorite new way to roast a chicken. It’s delicious on the outside with the savory aroma of lemongrass and garlic and it’s slightly sweet from the perfect blend of fish sauce and brown sugar. It’s so juicy and tender on the inside. Even the breast is full of flavor. This whole roast chicken was just so yummy that I’ll be roasting another Thai chicken next week. This is hands-down the BEST roast chicken I’ve ever had.

The key to this Thai Roast Chicken recipe is you have to spatchcock the whole chicken first. Spatchcock means that you remove the backbone with a sharp knife or kitchen scissors. Once the backbone is removed, you will flatten the chicken. This results in a quicker cooking time and a skin that is out of this world good. Saveur has a great article with images on How to Spatchcock a Chicken.

You can throw away the backbone, but you can also make homemade chicken stock with it (that’s what I did.) You can also fry it up, or you can make homemade gravy with it. So many possibilities with zero waste.

Thai Roast Chicken tastes best when dipped in Nam Jim Jaew (Thai Chili Dipping Sauce). This is my favorite Thailand dipping sauce. It’s sweet and sour and spicy. It’s basically Thailand’s version of Nuoc Cham (which is Vietnamese Dipping Sauce). Nam Jim Jaew can be found everywhere in Thailand, and it’s no wonder. It’s absolutely delicious.

You can make Nam Jim Jaew as spicy as you want. You can also omit the chili flakes if you don’t want a spicy sauce.

What I love most about this Thai chili dipping sauce is that it has a tamarind base. I absolutely LOVE tamarind. It uses tamarind concentrate, which you can find at any Asian grocery store or online on Amazon. If you have blocks of seedless tamarind, like I do in my kitchen, you can also make your own tamarind concentrate (also called tamarind paste). Simply mix a chunk of it with an equal amount of boiling water. Wait until the water cools, mix it together with your hands. Strain it through a coarse sieve and you’re done.

I also just eat seedless tamarind like a snack because I grew up on it. That stuff is addicting!

This recipe is my all time favorite roast chicken. I adapted it from Marion’s Kitchen’s recipe. She has a great video on how to make it on her website.

Recipe Summary

  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 large portobello mushroom caps (about 2 pounds)
  • Cooking spray
  • ½ pound green beans, trimmed
  • 6 romaine lettuce leaves
  • 6 radicchio leaves
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1 (15-ounce) can whole baby corn, drained
  • ½ cup chopped basil leaves
  • Spicy Thai Dipping Sauce

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag, and seal. Marinate 15 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove mushrooms from bag discard marinade. Place mushrooms on a grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray cook 3 minutes on each side. Cut mushrooms into 1/2-inch-thick slices set aside.

Steam green beans, covered, 5 minutes or until tender.

Arrange romaine and radicchio leaves on a large platter. Divide mushrooms, green beans, bell pepper, and corn evenly over lettuce. Sprinkle with basil. Roll up, and serve with Spicy Thai Dipping Sauce.

Featured in Sauces and Condiments: Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce น้ำจิ้มไก่ ( Nam Jim Gai )

Currently rated:
Rated 4 Stars from 1572 reader reviews

Yield: About 1 Cup
Prep time: 5 Minutes
Cooking time: 10 - 15 Minutes
Ready in: About 30 Minutes

Nam Jim or Nam Chim is Thai for "Dipping Sauce". It's a generic term that can refer to many different kinds of dipping sauces in Thai cuisine. Most are a combination of spicy, salty, sweet, and sour flavors.

This sweet and spicy version is commonly called Nam Jim Gai, or Dipping Sauce for Chicken, although it can be seen served on the side with many kinds of meats and snack foods. It can also be used as an ingredient in other recipes to add a hint of spicy and sweet.

We use Thai Long Chilies to get this wonderful color, then just a little Thai Hot Chili to get the spicy flavor. You can adjust the ratio of hot to mild chilies according to your own tastes.

The fresh ingredients in nam chim can be finely chopped or pounded in a mortar and pestle, but you can easily use a blender or food processor to make this delicious traditional Thai dipping sauce.

Ingredient List: What's in our Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce.

  • 3 - 4 Large Cloves Garlic
    (Peeled, cut into small pieces)
  • 3 Thai Long Chilies
    (Cut into small pieces)
  • 3 - 4 Thai Hot Chilies
    (Cut into small pieces)
  • 1/4 Cup Distilled white vinegar
  • 1 Cup White cane sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Salt
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Lime juice

Basic Directions: How we make our Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce.

1) Put everything into a blender and pulse / blend until the chilies and garlic are well chopped and the mixture is a little frothy.

2) Pour it all into a saucepan or small pot. Heat over a medium - high flame, stirring often to be sure it doesn't stick or burn.

3) Let it come to a good boil for just a bit, then turn down the heat so it's barely bubbling.

4) Cook like this until it starts thicken just a little, for about 10 - 15 minutes, stirring often. Let cool then transfer to a jar with a lid. Store in the refrigerator.

Dumpling Dipping Sauce

Danielle Centoni is a Portland-based, James Beard Journalism Award-winning food writer and cookbook author whose idea of a perfect day always includes butter, sugar, flour, and an oven.

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 105
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 839mg 36%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 15mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 79mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Chinese dumplings (jiaozi) are one of the most traditional dishes in Chinese cuisine and a must-have at everything from family dinners to banquet meals. But a dumpling wouldn't be a dumpling without the dipping sauce that goes with it. They simply require something tangy, sometimes spicy, to help cut through the rich savoriness of the dumpling filling.

Just as there are many different types of dumplings, there are many types of dipping sauces. This recipe is a quick, easy, and popular version. It uses a soy sauce and rice vinegar base with garlic, sesame oil, and hot chile oil for flavor. The sauce works great for classic pork-filled dumplings but also pairs wonderfully with pockets filled with eggs, prawns, or vegetables. With some simple substitutions, you can also make the perfect sauce for Japanese gyoza and Thai pot stickers.

Instructions are given for making your own chile oil, but a store-bought version is fine to use. You can use Sichuan (Szechuan) peppercorn oil instead. Both will give the sauce a nice spicy kick. As always, you can adjust the flavor to suit your personal preference.

Use this recipe either for homemade Chinese dumplings or store-bought dumplings. While those often come with dipping sauce, you will be better able to adjust the seasonings if you make it yourself.

Thai Roast Chicken with Spicy Sauce

First make the marinade. Use a mortar and pestle to pound the lemongrass, coriander root and garlic to a rough paste. Stir through the pepper, fish sauce, brown sugar and dark soy sauce.

To spatchcock the chicken, remove the backbone with scissors. Flip the chicken over so it is facing breast up. Then push down on the breast to flatten it down. Place chicken in a roasting tin lined with foil. Spread the marinade over the chicken. Cook in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.

Take the chicken out of the oven and remove the foil. Use a brush to baste the chicken with the cooking juices. Place the chicken back in the oven to roast for another 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. The chicken is cooked when the leg meat juices run clear when pierced with a knife. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the spicy sauce. Toast the rice in a dry frying pan over high heat until golden brown and fragrant (it should smell like popcorn). Use a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder to grind to a fine powder. In a bowl, combine the tamarind, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, chilli flakes and toasted rice powder. Mix until well combined. Then stir through the shallot and coriander.

Cut the chicken into portions and serve on a platter with the spicy dipping sauce.

Thai spicy tamarind dipping sauce – Nam Jim Jaew

This dipping sauce is amazing on all sorts of grilled meats. I particularly like it when it is served with Gai Yang, Thai grilled chicken. There are many recipes for nam jim jeaw but this one is made using prepared tamarind for acidity. Some recipes use lime juice but the idea is always the same. A tangy, salty, spicy, and barely sweet sauce to accentuate your grilled meats.

Prepared tamarind can be a bit confusing to some people but it is actually quite simple. The flesh of the tamarind fruit, which is a bit dense and chewy, is mixed with water until it reaches the consistency of a puree. This “puree” is then used in a number of dishes to lend acidity and flavor.

You most often see tamarind in two forms here in the US, jarred prepared tamarind and packaged tamarind pulp. If you find prepared tamarind, you don’t need to do anything more to it, it is ready to use in most recipes. If you find tamarind pulp, you need to takes a small piece and put it in a bowl with an equal amount of warm water. Let is sit for a few minutes. Using you hands, massage the tamarind pulp until it starts to loosen up. keep adding water and massaging until an apple sauce consistency is achieved.

Make sure you use a good quality roasted chili powder . It is easy to make at home. Dry arbol chilies works well for this, but you can use any dry chili to suit your taste. Remove the stems and seeds from the chilies. Toast them in a 350 Fahrenheit oven until they are aromatic and start to deepen in color, about 6 minutes. Cool and crush in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder into a coarse powder. Make extra and you can use it for other dishes.

The toasted rice powder is made by toasting uncooked sticky rice in a pan or in the oven until it is a light golden color. Use medium heat (or a 350F oven) and toast for 10 to 15 minute. After toasting, allow it to cool and crush in a mortar and pestle until a course powder similar to ground coffee is achieved. The toasted rice powder brings an interesting texture and nutty flavor to the sauce.

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