Asian Spicy Dipping Sauce for Vegetables

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Serving: 1 quart size
  • Note: I used a Hexclad 12-inch pan for this pictorial recipe

Updated 3/8/22: I call it an Asian Spicy Dipping Sauce because it has the taste of Chinese, Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese in it. This sauce is perfect for serving with blanched or steamed Asian greens and other vegetables. Mom never like my creativity in my cooking, but this was a special exception. When I made her try this sauce, she loves it so much that she would requests me to make a large batch for her to share with her elderly friends too. My Vietnamese friends and husband like this dipping sauce too.  I’m a meat lover and this sauce must be good enough for this mama to sit down and eat with rice and a plate of green veggies without any meat!

Ingredients for sauce:

  • 1/2 cup fine minced lemongrass
  • 6 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp homemade Thai chili paste
  • 6 Tbsp Thai Pantai shrimp paste
  • 6 Tbsp Vietnamese Mắm Ruốc or Mắm Tôm
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 6 Tbsp Lee Kum Kee oyster sauce
  • 6 Tbsp Korean Red chili paste with vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp oil

*To make homemade Thai chili paste, my mom taught me to blend one part Thai chilie peppers with 1/3 part vinegar. I use my smoothie blender and make one jar each year. Store it in the fridge and can be kept for a year+. Thai chillies must be washed and sun dried (no moisture) before use to avoid molding.

Recommended vegetables to dip with this Spicy Asian Dipping Sauce:

  • blanched okras
  • steamed Chinese yu choy or Vietnamese cai ngot
  • raw crunchy cucumber
  • lightly pan grilled zucchini
  • steamed cai lan


1. I prepped the ingredients. I combined the minced garlic, finely minced lemongrass, and chili pepper paste together in a bowl since this will go into the pan first. I put the rest of the other ingredients into another bowl.  (I had the ingredients layout on a dish just for visual aid.)

2.  Heat up oil in pan.  Once hot, toss in the minced lemongrass, garlic, and the chili paste. Stir it around on high heat until the garlic and lemongrass smells and looks roasted. This took about 3 to 4 minutes for me.

3.  Add in all the other ingredients including the water.

4. Turn heat to medium. I set my timer to minutes and simmer the sauce on medium heat for five minutes and medium low heat for another five minutes.  Turn off heat. Remove the hot pan from the hot stove.

5. Let the sauce cool down before transferring into a serving bowl or containers. Serve with vegetables such as steamed okras, cai ngot (yu choy), zucchini, and raw cucumbers.  This sauce is great with cai lan, bok choy, cauliflower, and cabbage too!

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