Serving

Mam Nem Dipping Sauce
Vietnam
  -   Nam Mem
Makes
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
1-1/2 cup  
*
15 min  
Best

This popular dipping sauce, as with all traditional concoctions, has variations, but it invariably contains mam nem and fresh pineapple. Pineapples came from South America but are now widely grown in Southeast Asia. This dipping sauce is used for fried or grilled fish, and for several beef preparations, particularly the famous bo nhung dam beef hot pot.






1/2
4
3
2
1
1
4
2
4
----
c
T
cl


T
T
t
T
---
Pineapple (1)
Mam Nem Sauce (1)
Garlic
Thai Chili red (3)
Lemon Grass stalk
Sugar
Lime Juice
Rice Vinegar
Fish Sauce (4)
-- Option
Water (5)
  1. Chop PINEAPPLE very fine and crush.
  2. Slice CHILIS exceedingly thin and chop fine. Crush GARLIC and chop fine.
  3. Peel tough outer leaves from LEMON GRASS and smash with the flat side of your kitchen mallet. Slice exceedingly thin and then chop very fine, using only about 3 inches from near the root end.
  4. Shake the bottle of MAM NEM well, pour through a fine strainer. Squeeze any solids lumps left behind and discard them keeping the liquid. Some brands don't need straining.
  5. Mix All Items and let it rest at least an hour before using. I generally give it a good run in a mini food processor to make it smoother.
  6. Packed full strength in a small tightly covered jar this will keep a few weeks in the refrigerator.
NOTES:
  1. Pineapple:   Fresh pineapple is best, but if you're not ready to butcher an entire pineapple just for some sauce, canned will do. This recipe is sized for an 8-1/4 ounce can of pineapple slices.
  2. Mam Nem:   This is a murky sauce of anchovies fermented in salt brine, sold in tall narrow 7 ounce bottles. For details see our Fish Sauce page.
  3. Chilis:   Use fresh red Thai chilis. Unfortunately, here in California they have become distressingly mild - so you may have to use more. Red Arbols make a reasonable substitute, or you can crush dried red Thai chilis. See our Chili Page for details.
  4. Fish Sauce:   This would be the regular clear fish sauce. Some recipes add this, others don't. For details see our Fish Sauce page.
  5. Water:   Many recipes call for adding some water - use your own discretion to get the intensity you want. To store, leave full strength and dilute when needed.
  6. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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