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Authentic Vietnamese recipes from the Motherland

Vietnamese Vegetable Dipping Sauce with Caramelized Fish Sauce (Mam Kho Quet)

Mam Kho Quet is a sauce and vegetable dish derived from poverty when Vietnamese farmers had plentiful vegetables but very little protein. The dipping sauce is made by caramelizing fish sauce and sugar in a small clay pot with a small amount of pork, dried shrimp, dried fish, and/or pork fat. The sauce is then served in the clay pot alongside a platter of fresh and boiled vegetables, such as cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, daikon, okra and squash. Mam Kho Quet is all about stretching a small amount of protein to add calories, as well as flavor, to an otherwise meager meal of mostly vegetables.

Although, Mam Kho Quet is a Vietnamese peasant dish, you can find it nowadays in many high-end restaurants all over Saigon. It's a taste of the past that is making its way back to mainstream Vietnam. Plus, it’s a great way to eat your vegetables!

 Vietnamese Vegetable Dipping Sauce with Caramelized Fish Sauce (Mam Kho Quet)

Vietnamese Vegetable Dipping Sauce with Caramelized Fish Sauce (Mam Kho Quet)

 Vietnamese Vegetable Dipping Sauce with Caramelized Fish Sauce (Mam Kho Quet)

Vietnamese Vegetable Dipping Sauce with Caramelized Fish Sauce (Mam Kho Quet)

 Vietnamese Vegetable Dipping Sauce with Caramelized Fish Sauce (Mam Kho Quet)

Vietnamese Vegetable Dipping Sauce with Caramelized Fish Sauce (Mam Kho Quet)

 Vietnamese Vegetable Dipping Sauce with Caramelized Fish Sauce (Mam Kho Quet)

Vietnamese Vegetable Dipping Sauce with Caramelized Fish Sauce (Mam Kho Quet)

Vietnamese Vegetable Dipping Sauce with Caramelized Fish Sauce (Mam Kho Quet)

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil (You can also use rendered pork fat from making fried pork fat)
  • 1 small shallot (thinly slice)
  • 1 tablespoon dried shrimp (about 10 small shrimp, presoak in warm water to soften then drain dry)
  • 1 garlic clove (roughly chop)
  • 2 tablespoons good quality fish sauce
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Pinch black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fried pork fat (optional)
  • 1-4 chili peppers (optional)
  • Assorted fresh and boiled vegetables cut into sticks or bite sizes (cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, daikon, okra, bitter melon, op squash, winter melon, etc.)

Instructions

  1. In the very small clay pot, add oil. Heat on medium high then add shallot and dried shrimp. Stir until fragrant. Add garlic and stir until fragrant.
  2. Add fish sauce and sugar. Cook for 2-3 minutes until mixture starts to boil and slightly thickens. Turn off heat.
  3. Top with black pepper, fried pork fat and chili peppers. Serve sauce in clay pot with fresh and/or boiled vegetables.
 Vietnamese Vegetable Dipping Sauce with Caramelized Fish Sauce (Mam Kho Quet)

Vietnamese Vegetable Dipping Sauce with Caramelized Fish Sauce (Mam Kho Quet)

 Vietnamese Vegetable Dipping Sauce with Caramelized Fish Sauce (Mam Kho Quet)

Vietnamese Vegetable Dipping Sauce with Caramelized Fish Sauce (Mam Kho Quet)