How to make the perfect spicy, savoury and tangy Thai seafood dipping sauce.
Today we’re making a spicy, tangy, sweet super garlicky Thai dipping sauce that is the PERFECT complement for fresh seafood. I love this dipping sauce because it has a nice freshness to it from the lime juice and cilantro. Best of all, it is extremely easy to make.
This is a firm fixture at steamboats too! Next time you’re invited to one, and you have some spice lovers in the mix, make a batch of this – it’s a crowd pleaser, I promise.
Preparing the Ingredients
Lime Juice: Squeeze the limes to extract the juice and discard the seeds. You can use regular limes or calamansi limes. Lemon is also a good alternative.
Lemongrass: We just want the soft white inner core of the lemongrass. Remove the top half and the root, and peel off the tough outer layer light green stalk. You’ll unveil a white inner core. Slice this inner core; it should slice easily as it is softer. It might be slight fibrous. Cut with the knife at an angle if too fibrous.
Kaffir Lime Leaves: Remove the hard middle stalk. Simply fold the leaf in half and use scissors to cut the middle stalk.
Thai Bird’s Eye Chillies: This is the ingredient to add that addictive spice! It cannot really be replaced with regular Spur red chillies, but if you’re intimidated by spice, then you can try with this chilli first. I recommend using less bird’s eye chillies, than replace it completely with the red chilli though! Bird’s eye chillies provide a sharper kick that the chilli can’t quite hit.
How to Blitz
Traditionally, this was made in a mortar and pestle. Simply pound all of the ingredients together.
I used a food processor instead! It’s a lot quicker and faster. Using a food processor was able to finely chop the ingredients together, but not too finely. The charm in this sauce is have chunkier bits!
You can use a blender too, if that is what you have. A blender can pulverise quicker, so you may end up with a more amalgamated sauce. To prevent this, pulse the blender bit by bit, until it achieves a nice consistency.
What type of Seafood?
This goes with any seafood, and can be prepared any way!
My quick way of cooking fresh seafood is to simply boil them. They cook quickly, and I can easily enjoy the full flavours of the seafood with the complementary dipping sauce.
I have some blood cockles today. You might want to watch the video with detailed instructions on how to prepare and clean the cockles. It requires a double cleaning and detoxing process. I also have some shrimps and sliced fish today.
Always give your sauce a taste test before serving. Lime juice and fish sauce will lend different levels of sourness and saltiness each time, although this recipe is a good base to start from.
- Special Sauce
- 3 tbsps Lime Juice
- 2 tbsps Fish Sauce
- 3 tsps Sugar
- 3 cloves chopped Garlic
- 2 Lemongrass stalks
- 5-6 Kaffir Lime Leaves
- 3 Thai Bird’s Eye Chillis
- Prawns, Fish, Cockles
Thai Spicy Seafood Dipping SauceCourse: Eats, Recipes
3 tbsp Lime Juice
2 tbsp Fish Sauce
3 tsp Sugar
2 Lemongrass, sliced inner white core
3 cloves Garlic
5-6 Kaffir Lime Leaves
3 Thai Bird’s Eye Chillies
1 loosely packed cup Cilantro or Asian Parsley
- Add all the ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blitz and it’s ready to serve!