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Vietnamese Spring Roll Sauce Recipe?

I looked through the archives but couldn't find anything relating to this - I've been making Vietnamese spring rolls at home more and more lately, but I can't get the sauce right! I've tried both peanut/hoisin-based ones as well as fish oil/sugar ones, and I can't seem to get restaurant-quality sauces. Any tips to make them better?

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  1. The key for me was to find the highest-quality nuoc mam I could find, and to do that I went to an Asian market and asked the owner. He also advised me to use half unseasoned rice vinegar for half the lime juice called for in the recipe, and it was delicious. good luck in your quest!

    1 Reply
    1. I can that tell you that the Classic Nước chấm sauce for the Chả giò (fried spring rolls) does not have any oil in it.
      This is a great recipe for it http://sundaynitedinner.com/vietnames...
      There is also a very good recipe for the Nước Lèo (peanut- hosin sauce) http://sundaynitedinner.com/goi-cuon-...
      I have found both these recipes superior than most restaurant made sauces.
      Hope it helps

      2 Replies
      1. re: chefj

        These look delicious! Thank you! In your experience is that the brand of fish sauce you use too?

        1. re: beebers

          No but the brand I use, 5 Crabs Fish Sauce, is made by the same company but is harder to find and not really for cooking with. 3 crabs is fine for cooking and dipping sauces and unless you use a lot of fish sauce it is probably best to stick with one that is all purpose.

      2. Have you tried asking your favorite Vietnamese restaurant about the brand they use?

        1 Reply
        1. re: raytamsgv

          I guess I could - I just assumed they'd decline to share! Not a bad idea!

        2. I made this - paraphrased from "Into the Vietnamese Kitchen":

          2 chicken livers or 2 Tbs PB
          2 2Tbs + 1c H20
          1 Tbs neutral oil
          1 garlic clove mashed
          .25 - .5 tsp red pepper flake
          1 tsp tomato paste
          6 - 8 Tbsp hoisin
          1 tsp fish sauce
          1.5 tsp cornstarch in 1.5 tsp water
          2 Tbsp chopped peanut
          1 tsp toasted sesame

          Blend liver/PB with 2 Tbsp water. Heat oil, garlic, chili, tomato paste. Add rest of water ad liver. When it boils add hoisin, when it simmers again add cornstarch. Add fish sauce. Let it cool. Add peanut and sesame right before serving.

          Really good.

          1 Reply
          1. re: corneygirl

            Thank you! I'll give this a shot!

          2. I second the idea of using part juice, part vinegar, though I use more juice. Fish sauce varies enough by saltiness and fish-sauce-ness that the recipe would need to be altered to match your brand choice, in my opinion. Make sure to change the sugar and salt to taste, and don't be stuck with the recipe. But I make a Thai version of things, not Vietnamese, so take anything I say with that in mind.

            Perhaps your favorite restaurant does something un-traditional with the recipe? How "old" is their sauce? Has it had more of a chance to meld than you give it?

            1 Reply
            1. re: saltwater

              Good point - it probably has some time to really meld. But I also think lessening the lime and getting a better fish sauce will help me!