Vegetarian Fish Sauce

Vegetarian Fish Sauce

It's not a complete, satisfying Vietnamese meal without a sweet, tangy, spicy sauce to compliment a crackling fried egg roll, meticulously blanketed and rolled with fresh herbs, beansprouts, green leaf lettuce, and thin rice noodles. Fish sauce is an art form in most Vietnamese households; it's usually not measured out by cups and spoons but made by experience and taste. We break those rules by giving an approximation of what my mom, taught from grandma, would put in their version of fish sauce. Oh, by the way, our recipe is not fishy at all and totally vegetarian!


  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red peppers
  • 1/4 cup carrots (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon crushed roasted peanuts (optional)


  1. Put cup of water in a pot on high heat.
  2. Add sugar, soy sauce, and salt until sauce boils, then turn off heat.
  3. Pour lemon juice and sprinkle crushed red peppers into pot.
  4. Optionally, add carrots and crushed roasted peanuts.