Vietnamese Dipping Sauce (Nu'ó'c Châ´m)
4 tbsp. sugar
2 garlic cloves
2 Thai chiles, stemmed (1 whole and 1
sliced into thin rings)
4 tbsp. fish sauce
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1⁄8 cup julienned carrots
1. Pile 1 tbsp. of the sugar, garlic, and the whole chile on a cutting board and roughly chop everything together. Using the side of the knife, scrape the garlic–chile mixture into a rough paste.
2. Transfer the paste to a medium bowl and whisk in remaining 3 tbsp. sugar and 1 cup warm water until the sugar dissolves. This will take about 30 seconds. Whisk in fish sauce, lime juice, sliced chiles, and carrots. Let the sauce sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to come together; stir well before serving. The sauce will keep for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
MAKES 1 1⁄3 CUPS