Tangy Asian Dipping Sauce

Posted on: September 13, 2009

Here in New York it already feels like the beginning of fall.  The mornings are crisp and the evenings are cool. There were a couple days of rain, but overall I’ve really been enjoying the weather.  However, despite the cooler temperatures, it is officially still summer.  So to celebrate the last few weeks of bright sunny days, I thought I’d share with you a nice refreshing dipping sauce.

The recipe comes from a cookbook called Roast Chicken and Other Stories by Simon Hopkinson with Lindsey Bareham.  Hopkinson is a well known British chef and food writer. In 2005 this book was given the title of “most useful cookbook of all time.”  I bought Roast Chicken about a year ago and read it during commutes on the subway. The cookbook is resourceful but also exceptionally entertaining. Throughout the pages, Hopkinson shares little anecdotes and thoughts that allow a greater appreciation for food.  The chapters are divided according to ingredient and the beginning of each section is adorned by witty illustrations by Flo Bayley.  I have yet to read his follow up book Second Helpings of Roast Chicken but am sure it is just as delightful as the first.

I’ve made a few of the recipes in this book, but none can be easier than the cilantro dipping sauce.  It is Vietnamese inspired and goes well with everything from vegetables to seafood to meat.  The author mentions pairing the sauce with fried foods such as shrimp, fish, onions, eggplant, and calves brains.  I have yet to find the guts to eat and cook with brains so I opted for a simpler, possibly slightly more boring grilled chicken.  However, paired with the tangy, sour, and sharp brightness of the dipping sauce, the chicken was anything but boring.


Tangy Asian Dipping Sauce

Adapted from Roast Chicken and Other Stories

Small bunch of cilantro, leaves only
6 mint sprigs, leaves only
4 small garlic cloves
4 small green chillies, seeded
1 tablespoon sugar
Juice of 5 limes
8 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
1/2 cup cold water

Finely chop all ingredients and mix together.  Serve with grilled chicken.

Note: If serving for less than 4 people, halve the recipe.


  • babycakes

    my mom bought some fish sauce when she was here in the summer, i should put it to use!! :) looks good!

  • Q.

    LOVE that photo of the limes:) Sounds yummy, too.

  • Lindsay

    cilantro! yum! Any sauce or dish with cilantro is a winner in my book.

  • carlos

    Hola Jessica,

    No sabía que cocinabas tan bien. Un día tenemos que comparar nuestras recetas para la tortilla de patatas. Muchos recuerdos.

  • Sonja

    Ohhhh are you shooting all the pictures yourself? then you are a truely good photographer! I wonder so much.. where can you find buttermilk in Korea? I love to drink buttermilk back in Germany.. its so easy to find there.. but I never found that in Korea TT..TT

  • Mitzi

    Looking for a different dipping sauce will try this one and buy the book as well. Some of my family run restraunts but I need soomething different ,Thanks,Cheers,Mitzi

  • Jessica

    Mitzi- Great! Let me know how you like the book!

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