Vietnamese-Inspired Blender Marinade

published Jun 27, 2021
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Vietnamese Inspired Blender Marinade

This salty-sweet-sour marinade, which is directly inspired by the Vietnamese sauce nuoc cham, tastes great with beef and pork.

Makes1 1/2 cups

Prep5 minutes

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marinade in mason jar with some being taken out by spoon
Credit: Food Styling: Amelia Rampe

This marinade is directly inspired by the Vietnamese sauce nuoc cham. Nuoc cham is a sweet, salty, and sour combination of fish sauce, lime juice, chiles, sugar, and garlic. For this quick marinade, I’ve added shallot and cilantro stems, but you could also throw in ginger, lemongrass, or makrut lime leaves, which I often do when I have them on hand.

Because of this sauce’s high acidity, you’ll want to marinate proteins for no more than 15 to 30 minutes (if it sits for too long, the acid will begin to cook the meat and toughen its flesh). Just like nuoc cham, this marinade is also great as a dipping sauce. If using for dipping, I recommend finely chopping the ingredients rather than blending them, which will make for a prettier presentation. Taste the sauce before serving — you may need to dilute it with water to your desired salinity. 

Credit: Food Styling: Amelia Rampe

3 Ways to Use This Marinade

  1. Quickly marinate beef, pork, or chicken. Beef and pork really love this flavor profile — I’d recommend marinating either for 30 minutes. If opting for chicken, stick with just 15.
  2. Serve alongside fish. Although fish will cook if marinated in this sauce, you can brush it onto the fish as it’s cooking, or serve alongside.
  3. Stir it into ground meat as it’s cooking. Stir this marinade into ground beef, pork, or chicken as it cooks, then make Thai larb-style lettuce wraps. Or, add some of the marinade to a stir-fry.

Vietnamese Inspired Blender Marinade

This salty-sweet-sour marinade, which is directly inspired by the Vietnamese sauce nuoc cham, tastes great with beef and pork.

Prep time 5 minutes

Makes 1 1/2 cups

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1/2

    small shallot

  • 1/2 bunch

    fresh cilantro stems

  • 4 cloves

    garlic

  • 3/4 cup

    lime juice (from 6 to 8 limes)

  • 1/4 cup

    fish sauce

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons

    granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Coarsely chop 1/2 small shallot. Coarsely chop 1/2 bunch cilantro stems until you have 1/2 cup. Add the shallot, cilantro, 4 garlic cloves, 3/4 cup lime juice,1/4 cup fish sauce, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Blend until smooth. Taste and blend in up to 1 tablespoon more granulated sugar if needed.

Recipe Notes

Storage: The marinade can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.