Nam Jim Jaew is my favourite Thai dipping sauce.
Thai cooking is famous not just for the amazing curries but also their grilled meats, seafood and sauces.
Nam jim jaew is the most popular Thai dipping sauce for grilled meats like steak, pork and chicken. Like all Thai sauces and dips, it is important to adjust these ingredients to taste so that you get the perfect blend of sweet, sour and spicy for your personal preferences.
You can use my measurements below as a guide but the final flavour of this Thai dipping sauce is totally down to you.
A bit about the special and important ingredient roasted rice…
One of the ingredients that gives nam jim jaew its distinctive flavour is the roasted rice powder or Khau Khua in Thai.
This important ingredient is available at Asian shops but I have found the making your own gets far superior and fresher tasting results.
I have explained how to do this below. Traditionally Thai sticky rice (glutinous rice) is used but I have tried making this powder with Basmati and also Jasmin rice with good results.
What is Thai glutinous rice?
Just to ensure there is no misunderstanding, glutenous and glutinous are not the same thing as many people falsely think.
Glutenous means that an ingredient contains gluten. Glutinous refers to a type of starch which is on the grains of rice which when cooked make the rice sticky.
It is used to make Thai sticky rice. There are different types of glutinous rice so if cooking sticky rice, look for long grain Thai glutinous rice.
The above recipe for khao khoa will make more than you need for this Thai dipping sauce but it is easier to grind in larger batches. The roasted rice powder will keep in an air-tight container for a couple of months.
You can purchase tamarind water at Asian shops. It is also easy to make. Simply soak block tamarind in some water until the water turns dark and strain.
Now that you have your rice powder, lets get on with the recipes.
Once you have your meat fan Thai dipping sauce prepared, give it a try. If you prefer more sauce, you could alway add a little more tamarind water or lime juice.
If you find this to be too sour, add a little water. Adjust the spiciness with more chillies if you like and more sugar for sweetness.
If you like this Thai dipping sauce for meat, you should try some of these other Thai recipe favourites.
- Tom kha gai soup
- Tom yum gai soup
- Chicken satay with peanut sauce
- Thai green curry
- Thai red curry
- Pad Thai
- Thai Drunken Noodles
- 3 tbsp Thai fish sauce
- 4 tbsp. Tamarind water
- 1 tbsp palm sugar or white sugar
- 1 tbsp dried chilli flakes
- 1 tbsp roasted rice powder – Recipe below in method
- 1 ½ tbsp. lime juice
- 2 shallots
- 2 tbsp coriander stems – finely chopped
- 2 spring onions – cut into thin rings
- This one couldn't be easier! Simply place all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. I have photographed each step of this process but you really can wing it!
- It is important to taste as you go so that you get the perfect blend of sweet, sour and spicy.