Tartar Sauce
Credit: jeffreyw

Dipping sauces are a type of condiment served in many parts of the world to flavor or complement food. The sauces may be spicy, mild or sweet or a combination of all three.

Dipping sauces made in Western countries are not as spicy as the ones made in Asian countries and the ingredients used are usually different too.

Dipping Sauces from Asian countries


Dipping sauces from China are made with a variety of sauces like soy sauce, oyster sauce or hoisin sauce. Chinese black vinegar is another a main ingredient used in many Chinese dipping sauces.

Chinese Oyster Dipping Sauce


  • Oyster sauce – 3 tablespoons
  • Sesame oil – 1 teaspoon
  • Chinese Black Vinegar – 2 tablespoons
  • Honey – 1 tablespoon
  • Minced ginger – ¼ teaspoon
  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl and serve with your favorite tempura, spring rolls and egg rolls.

*If you’re unable to find Chinese Black Vinegar you can use Balsamic vinegar.

Hoisin Dipping sauce


  • Soy sauce – ¼ cup
  • Sesame oil – ½ teaspoon
  • Minced garlic – 1 clove
  • Chopped green onions – 1 teaspoon
  • Water – 1 tablespoon
  • Hoisin sauce – 2 tablespoons
  • Minced ginger – ¼ teaspoon
  • Sugar – ½ teaspoon

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours to boost the flavor of the sauce.  Warm the sauce before serving. 

Phrik nam pla.jpg
Credit: Takeaway


Fish sauce is a much sought after sauce in Vietnam since it’s used in enhancing the flavor of many Vietnamese dishes. Fish sauce is known as ‘Nuoc Mam’ in Vietnamese. A popular and traditional dipping sauce made in Vietnam is called ‘nuoc mam cham.

Nuoc Mam Cham


  • Sugar – 5 tablespoons
  • water - 3 tablespoons
  • fish sauce - 1/3 cup 
  • lime/lemon juice - 1/2 cup made from 3 limes or 2 lemons
  • 1 clove garlic – peeled and minced
  • 1 or 2 thinly sliced Thai chili (Bird's eye chili)
  • 1 shallot – peeled and minced

Add the sugar, water, fish sauce and lime/lemon juice into a bowl. Whisk together until sugar is dissolved. Stir in the minced garlic, sliced chilies and minced shallot.

Leave aside for half an hour before serving to increase the flavors of the sauce. This sauce goes well with spring rolls.

How to make Vietnamese dipping sauce "nuoc cham" - Cách pha nước chấm


Nam Jim is a popular dipping sauce from Thailand although it’s compared to a salad dressing. Nam Jim is best served with seafood and grilled beef.

Thailand’s Nam Jim Sauce


  •  Fish sauce – 2 tablespoons
  • Lime/lemon juice – 3 tablespoons
  • Sugar – 2 tablespoons
  • Minced garlic cloves - 2
  • 2 shallots chopped
  • 2 thinly sliced Thai chili (Bird’s eye chili)
  • Chopped coriander leaves – 2 tablespoons
  • Salt to taste


 Whisk together the fish sauce, lime/lemon juice and sugar. When the sugar has dissolved stir in the rest of the ingredients. Leave aside for half an hour for the flavors to set before serving. Serve with seafood.

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Dipping sauces from Western countries

Bleu Cheese Dipping Sauce


  • Bleu Cheese – ¼ lb.
  • Mayonnaise – ½ cup
  • Sour cream – ½ cup
  • Lemon juice – 1 tablespoon
  • Wine vinegar – 1 tablespoon
  • A few drops of hot pepper sauce

Soften the bleu cheese by mashing it in a bowl. Add the mayonnaise and blend until the cheese and mayonnaise is fully mixed and creamy. Whisk in the sour cream, lemon juice, vinegar and hot pepper sauce. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

*This is an ideal dipping sauce to be served with spicy chicken wings.

Honey Mustard Sauce


  • Dijon mustard – 2/3 cup
  • Sour cream – ¼ cup
  • Honey – ¼ cup
  • Worchestershire sauce – ¾ teaspoon

Stir all the ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

*Ideal dipping sauce to be served with fried chicken and spicy chicken wings.

Spicy Salsa


  • Chopped tomatoes - 2
  • Chopped green onions – 2 tablespoons
  • Chopped cilantro – 1 tablespoon
  • Salt – ¼ teaspoon
  • Few drops hot pepper sauce

Mix all the ingredients. Cover and refrigerate till ready to use. 

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