Nam Jim Jaew, the Thai dipping sauce, has got it all: a zesty kick, a hint of sweetness, and it’s a breeze to whip up.

Plus, it’s your secret weapon for taking your grilled or roasted meats to the next level. Whether it’s BBQ chicken, sizzling steaks, juicy grilled pork, or even a catch of the day, this dip’s got you covered!

Nam Jim Jaew, a delectable Thai dipping sauce, in a small bowl.

🙋‍♀️ What is Nam Jim Jaew?

In Thai, “Nam Chim” or “Nam Jim” (น้ำจิ้ม) means “dipping sauce,” encompassing a wide variety of dipping sauces in Thai cuisine. FYI, “nước chấm” is a similar concept in Vietnamese cuisine.

Nam Jim Jaew, the authentic Thai BBQ dipping sauce that will make you explode with flavor!

There are various types of “Nam Jim”, including “Nam Jim Kai” (Thai sweet chili sauce), “Nam Jim Satay” (Thai satay peanut dipping sauce), and “Nam Jim Talay” or “Nam Jim Seafood” (a delightful seafood dipping sauce).

Nam Jim Jaew quite literally translates to “Jaew Dipping Sauce”. It hails from the Northeast of Thailand (Isaan region) but nowadays has gained popularity all over the country.

🙋‍♀️ What dishes pair well with Nam Jim Jaew?

Nam Jim Jaew elevates the flavor of any Thai BBQ and roasted meat or fish, whether it’s Kaiyang (Thai BBQ Chicken), Moo Yang (Grilled Pork), or even Khao Niao (Thai Sticky Rice). It transforms every dish into a flavorful explosion.

For me, Nam Jim Jaew is a bolder and more robust version of Vietnamese dipping fish sauce (Nước Mắm Chấm) . It also pairs wonderfully with a variety of Vietnamese dishes, ranging from BBQ dishes to fresh spring rolls.

🛒 Ingredients

Ingredients for Nam Jim Jaew (Thai BBQ Dipping Sauce): fish sauce, brown sugar, lime, shallot, cilantro, chili flakes and roasted rice powder.

There are two versions of Nam Jim Jaew: one with lime and the other with tamarind. Here’s the lime version, as tamarind can sometimes be hard to find.

  • Fish sauce
  • Brown sugar
  • Lime juice
  • Water
  • Toasted rice powder (Khao khua)
  • Chili flakes
  • Cilantro
  • Shallot

📝 Instructions

  • Finely chop cilantro and shallot.
  • Combine fish sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, and water in a 2:2:1/2:1 ratio. You can adjust it to your taste.
In a bowl, mix fish sauce, lime juice, water and sugar together.
  • Add toasted rice powder, chili flakes, shallot and cilantro. Mix well.
add roasted rice powder
add chili flakes
  • Enjoy Nam Jim Jaew with your favorite dishes.
Sticky rice served with Kai Yang / Ping Gai (Thai / Lao BBQ Chicken) and Nam jim jaew (Thai Dipping Sauce).

🌟 Helpful Tips

Nam Jim Jaew, a delectable Thai dipping sauce, in a small bowl.

Palm sugar substitute:

  • The original recipe calls for palm sugar due to its distinct caramel flavor. Brown or black sugar is an excellent substitute. If you have palm sugar in solid form, you can finely chop it and mix it with hot water for easy dissolution before adding fish sauce and lime juice.
  • Granulated sugar also works well, and if you prefer to avoid sugar, you can use honey or maple syrup (substitute 2 tablespoons of sugar with 1.5 tablespoons of honey / maple syrup).

Khao khua substitute:

  • You can prepare Khao khua at home, but to save time, I used store-bought “bột thính” (the Vietnamese name for roasted rice powder).
  • Roasted rice powder is not only a key ingredient in Thai and Lao cuisines but also popular in Vietnamese cuisine, particularly in dishes like Bì (Shredded pork skin, a component of the Cơm Tấm platter).

Lime juice substitute:

  • You could substitute lime juice with lemon juice or calamansi juice.

Did you find this recipe helpful?

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Nam Jim Jaew, a delectable Thai dipping sauce, in a small bowl.

Nam Jim Jaew – Thai BBQ Dipping Sauce (with Lime)

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Nam Jim Jaew, the Thai BBQ dipping sauce, is a complete package: it packs a zesty punch, a touch of sweetness, and it's a snap to prepare. Moreover, it serves as your concealed ace for elevating the flavors of your grilled or roasted meats.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Course Condiments
Cuisine Thai

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tbsp fish sauce (to your taste)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar (to your taste)
  • ½ tbsp lime juice (to your taste)
  • 1 tbsp water (to your taste)
  • 1 tsp roasted rice powder (Khao khua)
  • 1 tsp chili flakes (to your taste)
  • 1 handful cilantro (to your taste)
  • 1 shallot

Instructions
 

  • Chop the cilantro and shallot finely.
  • Mix fish sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, and water in a ratio of 2:2:1/2:1 (adjust to your flavor at the end).
  • Incorporate toasted rice powder, chili flakes, shallot and cilantro. Mix well.
  • Enjoy Nam Jim Jaew with BBQ or roasted meat.

Notes

  • The original recipe uses palm sugar for its caramel flavor. Brown or black sugar is an excellent alternative. If you have solid palm sugar, finely chop and dissolve it in hot water before adding fish sauce and lime juice.
  • Granulated sugar is a good choice, or you can use honey or maple syrup (replace 2 tablespoons of sugar with 1.5 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup) for a sugar-free option.
  • You can make Khao khua at home, but for convenience, I used store-bought “bột thính” (Vietnamese name for roasted rice powder).
  • You can replace lime juice with lemon juice or calamansi juice.
     
 
 
 
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