Don’t you love cooking hacks? I bloody do! Anything to make my time in the kitchen efficient. This is especially when I achieve great results from the hack. For instance, this Shortcut Thai Dipping Sauce / Nam Chim I am about to share . Fail proof and consistently great results, always!
This dipping sauce has everything that is great about Thai sauces. Sweet from the sweet chilli, sour from the lime juice, earthy from the garlic and cilantro/coriander and crunchy from the peanuts. Diluting the sauce with a bit of hot water gives it a more watery, syrupy look. Delicious and would take you straight to the streets of Thailand.
Dipping Sauce Ideas
I do acknowledge that sometimes, when it comes to producing great meals, there are no shortcuts. Yet sometimes, you can create great food just by hacking it. I would try every hack once, but ultimately, I tend to keep, use and share only special cooking hacks. With this dipping sauce, I came with this idea after spending a lot of time time making the dish that accompanies the sauce for a party.
That day, by the time I got to making condiments, I got tired & lazy, ‘mehhh, this is too hard’. I actually went out of my way to cheat using ready made sauces, without being too obvious. Hence, me owning a collection of shortcut meals (in my head – will share over time!).
Sometimes, it is not just about making awesome snacks, making great dipping sauces to go with it is equally as important. The aim is to recreate a replica of the original dipping sauce in less time it takes to make the real thing.
Thai Dipping Sauce / Nam Chim Kai
The Thai sweet chilli dipping sauce is a variety most commonly seen in Thailand and outside of Thailand (i.e your neighbourhood Thai restaurants). Known as Nam Chim Kai ( น้ำจิ้มไก่). It has has a sweet chilli sauce base, mild to medium in spice scale and a little sticky.
Most of the time, you see Nam Chim being served as a dipping sauce for spring rolls. However, you can really use it for many other things such as grilled chicken, fish balls, chicken wings or Thai style dumplings as I do sometimes.
The Real Thing
Some might wonder, why bother with a Nam Chim short cut when making the real thing is not really that difficult. I completely agree, however, sometimes I may not have all the fresh ingredients available. So rather than making ‘half-arse’ of the real thing, I am using ingredients I have readily available in my pantry/ herb garden/ fridge.
The best thing is, this requires almost no elbow grease, and I always get a consistent taste.
I tend make this express Thai dipping sauce when :
- I don’t have much time in the kitchen
- Entertaining – When I am making food for a decent crowd
- When I need to make a variety of Asian dipping sauces
- When I don’t have essential (original) Nam chim ingredients such as fresh chillies and palm sugar readily available
- Sweet Chilli Sauce
- Lime juice
- Hot water
- Chopped Garlic
- Chopped Coriander/Cilantro
- Crushed Peanuts
Shortcut Thai Dipping Sauce / Nam Chim
- ½ cup Sweet Chilli Sauce
- 2 tbsp Lime juice or juice from 2 limes
- 1 clove of Garlic chopped
- 2 tbsp Hot Water
- 2 tbsp Cilantro / Coriander Leaves chopped
- 1 tbsp Crushed peanuts optional
- In a bowl, combined all ingredients (except for peanuts) together
- Mix well
- Before serving, add crushed peanuts
- Ready to serve as a condiment
- Makes ¾ cup of sauce
- Sauce can be prepared well in advance, to do this, omit coriander/cilantro from mixture until you are ready to serve. This is to avoid coriander/cilantro from turning brown. Add coriander/cilantro into the mix 10 minutes before you serve.
- Same goes with crushed peanuts – to keep crushed nuts crunchy, add on sauce just prior to serving
- Sauce can keep for 5 days in the fridge and up to 1 month in the freezer
- To use sauce after being in the freezer, leave sauce in the fridge overnight until it comes back to ‘sauce’ consistency, and add 1 tbsp of boiling hot water. Mix well
- No lime ? Substitute lime juice with lemon juice
- I did not add Fish Sauce (nam pla) to keep sauce vegan friendly. If you would like to add some, feel free to add a few dash (around 1 tsp per 1 cup finished sauce) of Fish sauce. Just be weary when using it, too much fish sauce may make the sauce super salty.