This Thai salad dressing or spicy dipping sauce is bursting with the flavors of Southeast Asia! It's versatile, healthy and can be whipped up in just 15 minutes.
Why This Recipe Works
In the Thai cuisine, we have so many salads or yums, but this recipe is the kind of dressing that we use for almost all of them (we also use this as a seafood dipping sauce).
Made with garlic, chilies, lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar, this salad dressing is bursting with the flavors of Southeast Asia. Whether it's meat, seafood, noodles, fruits or vegetables, this dressing just never disappoints.
Check out my sweet leaf salad, lotus shoot salad, Thai corn salad, ramen noodle salad, and Thai steamed squid and you'll notice that the dressings use pretty much the same set of ingredients. It's just a matter of how much you need or how sour or spicy you want it to be.
Here is a visual overview of the ingredients in the recipe. Scroll down to the recipe at the bottom for quantities.
Lime juice: Please, please, please use freshly-squeezed lime juice and not any lime powder or some cheap bottled version. This makes HUGE difference.
Sugar: If you don't consume white sugar, you can definitely use other types of sugar such as palm or coconut sugar. I actually like this dressing with palm sugar too but it's a little harder to dissolve, and I don't always have it in my kitchen. Note that you might need to adjust the amount, but simply taste-test as you go.
Chili: You definitely want to use the hot type. Go for the Thai chilis. Make that trip to your nearest Asian grocery store or order the chilis from Amazon, and you'll thank yourself for it. 🙂
Step 2: Add the chilis and also pound.
Step 4: Use a spoon to stir and mix all the ingredients until the sugar is fully dissolved.
1. Like most Thai dishes, when making this, you just have to taste-test as you go. The amount of lime juice, fish sauce and sugar suggested are already well-balanced.
2. We like it spicy and sour and that's how it's made traditionally. But you can, of course, adjust the level of hotness of your Thai salad dressing. If you don't have a high tolerance to spicy food, start with just a few chilis.
As you can use this flavorful dressing with many types of Thai salad, you can make it in an amount that will last you a few days.
Note that 2-3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator is the longest you will want to keep this dressing because it contains fresh lime juice.
If you store it for longer than that, you'll start to notice an unpleasant smell of the lime juice and it won't be good for your stomach.
Thai Salad Dressing | Spicy Dipping Sauce | น้ำยำ | น้ำจิ้มซีฟู้ด
- Like most Thai dishes, when making this, you just have to taste-test as you go. The amount of lime juice, fish sauce and sugar suggested are already well-balanced.
- We like it spicy and sour and that's how it's made traditionally. But you can, of course, adjust the level of hotness of your Thai salad dressing. If you don't have a high tolerance to spicy food, start with just a few chilis.