My mother, and grandmother, for that matter, makes her nuoc mam a little differently than the norm. The nuoc mam I now inherit from her and will someday pass on to my children is a bit sweeter, as it uses oranges in addition to lemons, and includes coconut juice (coconut water). Using coconut juice may seem unusual, but a cousin of mine uses coconut soda. So yes, there are many ways of making nuoc mam.
Just a note, for the kids and the wimps, you can leave out the chili peppers and the chili paste, but it just won't be as good! The chili peppers are better minced, but when in a time crunch, you can can just chop them. My mother actually doesn't use the chili peppers. She just adds in the chili paste.
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 cups coconut juice (from 1 coconut)
juice from 2 1/4 oranges
juice from 2 medium lemons
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
3 teaspoons chili paste (optional)
4 red chili peppers, minced (optional)
This makes one quart of the nuoc mam.
Start by putting the garlic and sugar into a large bowl.
Add in the liquids (coconut juice, water, orange juice, and lemon juice).
The fish sauce we use in our family is the Viet Huong Three Crabs brand. You can see the bottle in the above photo.
Let me just take a moment to say something about my mom. Whenever she makes a dish and I ask her for the measurements of say...sugar, she'd answer me like this: "What do you mean, if you make a lot, you use a lot of sugar, and if you want to make a little, you use less sugar." I know, Mom, but there's this word called proportion. So for every dish I learned from her, I have memorized the ingredients but have never really measured how much, and she's never measured how much. And now that I've started measuring for this blog, I want to be dead on, so that's as dead on as you get up there. Of course, you can adjust the sugar and fish sauce and lemon juice to your liking. Making nuoc mam is easy. It's just about proportions.
Just one more tidbit. I was pleasantly surprised while reading EatTravelEat's blog to learn that I was chosen to receive the Proximity award to honor the friendships between bloggers.
The actual text of the award reads:
“This blog invests and believes the PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.”
And so I pass on the love. The lucky eight people who I'm passing this award onto are:
Tastes of Home, The Eaten Path, mother may I?, Big Boys Oven, A Fat Cat Who Created a Vegetarian, Tangled Noodle, Shizuoka Gourmet, and Eat Life. Thank you for all for supporting and reading my humble blog.