The Vietnamese dipping sauce, is one of the most versatile sauces in Asian cuisine. It can be used in noodle bowls (bún), tossed in salads (gỏi), drizzled over meats and seafood, or drenching rice cakes (bánh bèo ), and of course for dipping anything such as spring rolls.
The main ingredient in the Vietnamese dipping sauce is the fish sauce base. Fish sauce is a sauce made from fermented, salted anchovies. While it might not sound appetizing to some, it is in a way like wine, which is fermented grapes, and the longer it's aged, the better it tastes. The coveted type is the "extra virgin" fish sauce (nước mắm nhĩ ) which is very rare to find. Most fish sauce is a watered down version after the first batch is skimmed.
The fish sauce is then mixed with garlic, sugar, lemon juice and sometimes chilis as it's original form is too salty and pungent for many dishes. Even so, many people prefer to dip fish or tofu straight from an unmixed fish sauce. However the perfect mix will create a delicious, flavorful balance of sweet, salty, spicy and savory.
At bún mì Vietnamese Grill, we have a more modern take on the Vietnamese dipping sauce. Still retaining it's original authentic flavors, our house dipping sauce is an explosion of garlicky goodness, with an addition of Goji berries. In addition to it's health benefits, it adds a beautiful color that mimics thai chilis, so dishes can be enjoyed by those who can't tolerate spiciness. The goji berries add a touch of color and sweetness without the heat.
In addition, we've added to our menu our very own vegan dipping sauce, one that is made without a fish sauce base, so our vegan friends can try, appreciate, and enjoy Vietnamese food.