Recipe: Sauce: Nuoc Cham
This mouthwatering dipping sauce is a cinch to make – and combines the mouthwatering citrus and hot pepper flavors of Vietnamese cuisine’s popular condiment Nuoc Cham, with the smoky depth of the ever popular Thai ingredient, fish sauce.
¼ cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup Thai fish sauce (nam pla)*
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons water
3 cloves garlic, pressed
2 scallions, white part only, thinly sliced
4-5 paper-thin rings of habanero or scotch bonnet chili
Combine the lime juice, fish sauce and honey in a bowl and whisk to dissolve honey. Stir in remaining ingredients. Taste for seasoning, adding more lime juice and/or honey.
*Be sure to get “real” fish sauce – not the Americanized version. Fish sauce should smell weird – funky and almost unpleasant when sniffed straight from the bottle. If it doesn’t smell at all, or almost smells good – it’s not going to give you the depth and interest that is required here. Look at the ingredients – if cane syrup or sugar is a main player, keep looking.
Wine Match: Go Alsace — Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris — they’ll all work!
Recipe: Sauce: Cilantro Lemon Pesto
To 1 container store-bought cilantro pesto (or can use basil or whatever flavor you like!), stir in the juice of 1 or 2 lemons (to taste) along with some grated zest, a pinch of red pepper flakes and enough extra virgin olive oil to make a dipping consistency. Check for seasoning – add kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, if desired.
Wine Match: New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
Recipe: Sauce: Quick Peanut Sauce
A classic for satay or spring rolls, this chile-spiked peanut sauce is also delicious with boiled shrimp! Makes a generous 2 cups; keeps well for a several days.
Stir together the following in a microwave-safe bowl:
1 cup chunky peanut butter
2-3 fresh red chiles, seeded and sliced, or more to taste!
2 cloves garlic, put through a garlic press
4 teaspoons honey
¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper
5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
4 tablespoons soy sauce (can use low sodium, if desired)
3 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon water
Mix well. Heat in microwave for 1-2 minutes, watching very carefully and stirring a few times. Use medium power, if available. Add an additional tablespoon or more of water if needed to thin to dipping consistency.
Wine Match: Try a Viognier here!
Recipe: Sauce: Ginger Lime Butter
Makes a generous cup.
Combine the following in the bowl of a food processor:
Grated zest of two limes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
A pinch each of kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
Process until thoroughly combined. If not using immediately, store in refrigerator until ready to use. To serve, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat, taking care not to brown or burn. Serve as a dipping sauce.
Wine Match: Oregon Pinot Gris or a medium-bodied California or Washington Chardonnay.