Homemade Sauce for Spring Rolls and Nems

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If you love spring rolls, also called nems (in the North of Vietnam) and cha gio (in the South), you will be thrilled to learn that the sauce is so easy to make!

You can use the sauce for cold spring rolls (the ones with salad and shrimps inside), for warm spring rolls, and for a Vietnamese dish called Bo bun (litt: vermicelli noodles with beef).

The sauce can be made in batches and keeps very well for weeks or even months in the fridge.

If you are using it for bo bun, you don’t have to add anything. For fried spring rolls, you may like to add some chili or crushed garlic.

Don’t freak out when you see that there’s sugar in it; yes there is, and no, it’s not healthy, BUT you will only use a small amount of sauce, so you won’t be eating more than the equivalent of a teaspoon of sugar with your meal.


Makes 3 cups – Prep. time 5 min
13 fl. oz. (1.7 cup – 400 ml) water
1 cup (220g) refined sugar
3.5 tbsp Chinese rice vinegar
7 tbsp fish sauce (nuoc mam)

The sauce is very easy to make. Simply put all the ingredients in a small pan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. You’re done!

When the sauce is cool, transfer to a glass jar and refrigerate until you need it.


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