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Top 4 Vietnamese salad dressings to enhance the flavor of your salad

12/06/2023 5.726

Vietnamese salad dressing, a delightful blend of savory and tangy flavors, enhances the taste of any salad. Made with simple Vietnamese ingredients, this dressing brings an authentic touch to your culinary creations.

Vietnamese salad dressing

Just like Italy has olive oil and balsamic vinegar and Greece has tzatziki, Vietnam also has its own dipping sauce. Vietnamese salad dressing is a well-balanced mixture of fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, chili, and garlic. With these simple ingredients, Vietnamese people have created many tantalizing flavors of salad dressing. Read on to find out the top 4 dressing recipes as well as detailed instructions on how to make them.

1. Vietnamese salad dressing with fish sauce, lime juice, chili and garlic

With their rich flavor and easy pairing with various vegetables, fish sauce, lime, chili, and garlic are popular seasonings for making Vietnamese dressing. The recipe for this Vietnamese salad dressing is so simple with only 3 steps, but before jumping to that, let’s list out the ingredients you will need.

  • Prepare the ingredients:
    • 4 tablespoons of fish sauce
    • 3 fresh chili peppers
    • 3 cloves of garlic
    • 2 limes
    • 2 tablespoons of sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon of monosodium glutamate
  • Steps to make the dressing:
    • Step 1: Peel and rinse the garlic, then finely chop it with 3 fresh chili peppers. Cut 2 lemons in half and squeeze out the juice, removing the seeds.
    • Step 2: Add 4 tablespoons of fish sauce, 3 tablespoons of lime juice, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of monosodium glutamate into a small bowl.
    • Step 3: Stir well until all the ingredients are dissolved. Once the flavors are well combined, add the chopped garlic and chili peppers, and stir again.
  • Quality of the salad dressing: This authentic Vietnamese salad dressing has a vibrant blend of white garlic and red chili peppers. The harmonious combination of salty fish sauce, tangy lemon, sweet sugar, spicy chili, and aromatic garlic creates an irresistible dressing. This versatile dressing adds richness and flavor to salads like pork ear, chicken, duck, or Thai papaya salad.
Vietnamese salad dressing

2. Vietnamese salad dressing with fish sauce and red chili paste

The spicy and savory dressing will definitely bring you a unique taste experience. You can easily customize it to your own tastes. Here is the detailed Vietnamese salad dressing recipe with fish sauce and red chili paste:  

  • Prepare the ingredients:
    • 450ml fish sauce
    • 350ml red chili paste
    • 5 limes
    • 15 kumquats
    • 750g sugar
  • Steps to make the dressing:
    • Step 1: Cut the limes and kumquats in half and squeeze out the juice, removing the seeds. Place a paper towel on the surface of the peel while squeezing to prevent the essential oils from making the juice bitter.
    • Step 2: Place a pot on the stove over low heat and add 450ml fish sauce, 350ml chili sauce, and 750g sugar. 
    • Step 3: Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved, then turn off the heat. Add the lime and kumquat juice and stir well.
  • Quality of the salad dressing: The easy Vietnamese salad dressing is not only visually appealing but also perfectly balanced in flavor. You should store it in glass jars in the refrigerator. It is commonly used to flavor carrots, papaya, lettuce, and shredded chicken salad.
Vietnamese salad dressing

3. Vietnamese salad dressing with fish sauce and kumquat juice

This type of salad dressing is popular in Southern Vietnam. It has a salty and tangy flavor. If you are wondering how to make Vietnamese salad dressing only with fish sauce and kumquat juice, read on:

  • Prepare the ingredients:
    • 3 horn peppers
    • 3 bird's eye chili peppers
    • 10 kumquats
    • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
    • Sugar, salt, and pepper
  • Steps to make the dressing:
    • Step 1: Clean and chop the horn peppers and bird's eye chili peppers into small pieces. Cut the kumquats in half and squeeze out the juice, removing the seeds.
    • Step 2: Put the chopped peppers, 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, 5 tablespoons of sugar, 1.5 tablespoons of salt, and the prepared kumquat juice into a blender and blend until smooth.
    • Step 3: Once the flavors are combined and the mixture is smooth, transfer it to a bowl. Add a teaspoon of pepper, then stir well.
  • Quality of the salad dressing: This Vietnamese fish sauce salad dressing has a vibrant red color and a unique aroma of kumquats and chilies. Its savory, tangy, and spicy flavors delight your taste buds. It is perfect for green mango salad, green papaya salad, carrot and pork skin salad, and chicken salad.
Vietnamese salad dressing

4. Vietnamese salad dressing for vegans (without fish sauce) 

Unlike regular fish sauce, vegetarian fish sauce is made from plant-based ingredients. You can make this dressing from pineapple, mushrooms, cashews, tamarind, etc. There are many delicious ways to make vegan fish sauce for Vietnamese salad dressing. Here is a simple recipe:

  • Prepare the ingredients:
    • 2 ripe pineapples
    • 1/4 small cup of soy sauce
    • 15 cups of water
    • 1 cup of salt
    • 4 cups of sugar
    • 1/4 cup of vegetarian seasoning powder
    • 1 glass bottle
  • Vietnamese salad dressing recipe without fish sauce:
    • Step 1: Peel 2 ripe pineapples and cut them into moderate-sized pieces.
    • Step 2: Put all the ingredients into a large pot, bring to a boil and then simmer on low heat for about 90 minutes. Turn off the heat, uncover the pot, and let it cool. Then remove the pineapple pieces.
    • Step 3: Strain the fish sauce with a washcloth twice to make it cleaner. Then, pour the sauce back into the pot, boil it, and let it cool.
    • Step 4: Pour the fish sauce into a glass bottle and seal it tightly.
  • Quality of the finished product: Vegetarian fish sauce made from pineapples has a sweet and refreshing taste, creating a distinctive aroma. You should enjoy dipping it with steamed tofu or boiled vegetables.
Vietnamese salad dressing

As a whole, these 4 Vietnamese salad dressings complement a variety of salad dishes, including Vietnamese beef salad, Vietnamese chicken salad, Vietnamese cucumber salad, Vietnamese papaya salad, Vietnamese lotus root salad, Vietnamese raw herring salad, Vietnamese noodle salad, Vietnamese jellyfish salad and more.

When traveling to Vietnam, tourists should not miss a chance to indulge in various Vietnamese dishes, including Vietnamese broken rice, Vietnamese bread, Vietnamese fish cake, Vietnamese sticky rice, Vietnamese summer rolls, Vietnamese fried rice, Vietnamese noodles, etc. These flavorful delights will take your taste buds on a delightful journey through the vibrant and diverse cuisine of Vietnam.

Last but not least, do not forget to make your Vietnam journey truly unforgettable by exploring its top beach destinations, such as Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Da Nang, and Ha Long Bay. Immerse yourself in pristine shorelines, ancient towns, and awe-inspiring landscapes that showcase the country's natural wonders and cultural allure. Experience the perfect fusion of beauty and cuisine that will leave a lasting impression on your Vietnam travel.

Vietnamese salad dressing

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Vietnamese salad dressing is a delightful and essential part of Vietnamese cuisine, adding vibrant flavors to various dishes. Whether it is the tangy dressing, the zesty lime dressing, or the spicy chili fish sauce, these dressings satisfy your taste buds and elevate your meals. Hopefully, a glimpse and recipes of the top 4 salad dressings in Vietnam mentioned above will help you customize your own dressing at home.

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