|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 6g||2%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||2%|
|Total Sugars 3g|
|Vitamin C 17mg||84%|
|*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.|
Sweet, tangy with a touch of spicy, this Vietnamese dipping sauce is the perfect accompaniment to any grilled fish or seafood. In Southeast Asian cooking, sauces are also enjoyed with rice or noodle bowls. The ingredients that go into a sauce, what spices and herbs are added, make each sauce distinct from others. This dipping sauce offers up a great flavorful combination with each tantalizing bite.
Citrus juice is a common ingredient. Lime is native to Southeast Asia so it is used more often than lemon. Kalamansi, more acidic than lime, is another citrus that grows in the region. And then, there's tamarind. Not as easy to use than vinegar or citrus juice but definitely worth all the extra steps in the preparation.
Tamarind is a tree and the fruits are pod-like. The pulp of a young tamarind fruit is sour and ideal for making sour broths and sauces. Worcestershire sauce contains tamarind extract. As the fruit matures, the pulp becomes sweeter. At that stage, tamarind is made into candy or jam or pressed to make juice drinks.
"This sauce had amazing flavor. I used a small Thai chili, and it was quite spicy, so I would use less next time or a milder pepper. With the sour tamarind pulp and hint of sweetness from the sugar, it was yummy." — Diana Rattray
3 tablespoons tamarind pulp
1 small chili pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Place the tamarind pulp in a heatproof bowl.
Bring half a cup of water to the boil. Pour into the bowl with the tamarind pulp. Allow to soak for about ten minutes.
Strain with a wire mesh, pressing the pulp through the mesh. Discard everything that cannot be pressed through the mesh.
With a mortar and pestle, mash the chili, garlic, and sugar to a paste.
Gradually add the tamarind extract and fish sauce, mixing as you pour.
What to Serve With Tamarind Dipping Sauce
- Drizzle a little tamarind dipping sauce over a salad or hot cooked rice.
- Use the spicy sauce as a dip for spring rolls, shrimp, chicken nuggets, dumplings, or wings.
- Brush the sauce over grilled shrimp or chicken.
- For a sweet dipping sauce, increase the sugar to 1 to 3 tablespoons, or to taste.
- Replace the chili pepper with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of chili-garlic sauce (sambal oelek).
- Use brown sugar or palm sugar instead of granulated sugar.
How to Store
Refrigerate tamarind dipping sauce in an airtight container and use within 1 week.