Nam Jim Thale ( seafood dipping sauce) on top of Duck from an Asian grocery store, Rum and Coke, and Family Guy

It was a boring Saturday afternoon. I was missing Thailand and I didn’t want to do any work. I started to watch Family Guy with my boyfriend and drank rum and coke (in a wine glass). I got hungry. It happened to be one of those days that there was not much in the fridge but some leftover duck. Happiness then came over me as I remembered street vendors in Thailand selling roasted duck along the road in a community where I used to live. They would come with watered down nam jim thale, so we have to make some of our own we got home. Nam Jim Thale means seafood dipping sauce; as the name has hinted, the sauce is often serve with seafood dishes such as steamed mussels and barbeque squids…the sauce is also excellent with roast duck!

Thai Nam Jim Thale

Servings: 5-10

Cooking time: 10 minutes


1/4 cup bird’s eye chili, aka Thai prik kee nuu, roughly chopped 

1/4 cup garlic, roughly chopped 

1/4 cup lime juice (use fresh limes if you have them!) 

1/4 cup fish sauce 

1/4 teaspoon sugar

How to:

In a food processor, using chopping/mixing mode, chop the garlic and chili until very fine. Scoop them into a small bowl then add the reminding ingredient and mix well. Wow, ready to serve!

Tips: I grew up using a stone mortar and pestle instead of a food processor. I would highly recommend using that instead of a food processor if you have it. A mortar and pestle can break in-between skins and layers of garlic and chili, so that they give out different fragrances and more flavorful than when using a food processor. Food processors can only chop into smaller pieces, and do not penetrate the skins.