Nam Jim Classic Thai Dressing

This comes from Brigitte Hafner in Melbourne's “The Age” Epicure Section Tuesday July 5th 2005. Her introduction is:

“I love this classic Thai dressing that is hot and sour and tangy all at once. It is excellent over any grilled meat or fish, or tossed in salads with some fresh herbs such as mint or coriander. In this recipe I've used beef, but you could make this salad with barbecued chicken, prawns, calamari or even Chinese barbecued pork. Use the recipe more as a guide, adjusting the amounts of fish sauce, sugar and lime juice to taste. Many Thai recipes omit the garlic, ginger and coriander root but I like the oomph and flavour they give. If you don't want it too hot, remove the seeds from the chillies before crushing.”


  • 5 chillies, a mix of red and green
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 small knob of ginger
  • 5 coriander roots and stems, well washed
  • 100 gms palm sugar (or use brown sugar)
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • juice of 2-3 limes or lemons


  • 600 gms beef such as eye fillet, porterhouse or rump
  • half a packet of rice vermicelli noodles
  • a few handfuls of fresh chopped herbs such as mint, coriander and Vietnamese mint

Roughly chop the chillies, garlic and ginger. Place them in a mortar and pestle or blender with the coriander and crush until you have a rough paste. Add the sugar and continue blending until the sugar is dissolved. Add the fish sauce and lime juice to taste.

To make the salad, grill, fry or barbecue beef to your liking, season with salt and rest before cutting into thin slices. Soak noodles in warm water until soft, drain and toss together with the beef, herbs and dressing.


Back to Food & Recipes …