Vietnamese Recipe: Vegan “fish” sauce

Many Vietnamese dishes require the traditional and hugely famous Nuoc Mam or fish sauce. As a vegan, this can be really discouraging and sad. However, a few months ago, my mom visited a new vegetarian restaurant in Montreal and brought me a bottle of soy-based “fish” sauce.


I was so excited to try it out! Of course, this is only one of the ingredients that are used when making the traditional dipping sauce that I referred to in the Chia Gio and Banh Cuon recipes.


Here is what you need:

  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp nuoc mam chay (vegan fish sauce)
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp chili sauce

Here is what you do:

  1. Mix everything together until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Check and adjust the amount of sugar and salt to your taste.
  2. You can add more chili if you like or also finely chopped garlic for more flavour.

This sauce is great for dipping fried rolls, spring rolls, tofu, veggies, anything really! It has a really complex flavour that comes from the fermented soy beans used in the mock fish sauce. I really think it is as tasty as the original Nuoc Mam.

Let me know if you try it out and if you like it!


9 thoughts on “Vietnamese Recipe: Vegan “fish” sauce

    1. 🙂 Look around, I’m sure you can find some in your area! 🙂 If not, you can also substitute the nuoc mam chay for some soy sauce, for a milder flavour. 🙂

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