This dipping sauce is called Nam Jim Seafood in Thai but beware because the same name is used for the red version of the dipping sauce!
Video Showing the Traditional and Quick Method of Creating Green Thai Seafood Dipping Sauce
If you order seafood at a Thai restaurant then the chances are that it will come served with a spicy garlic and chili seafood dipping sauce.
There are at least two dozen different Thai dipping sauces, each created to enhance the flavor of a certain type of dish.
So far as Thai seafood dipping sauce goes there are two main variations, one more herb flavored and green in color and the other a red color with a quite different taste.
Which version you will be served with any Thai fish dish ordered depends on the restaurant you visit, as each chef has their preference.
Most western oriented restaurants tend to serve the green colored seafood dipping sauce in my experience.
Difference Between Red and Green Thai Seafood Dipping Sauces
The two sauces share the same spicy and sour but slightly sweet taste which typifies Thai cuisine. However the taste profiles are quite different making them individual dipping sauces.
Red Thai seafood dipping sauce is made with red chilies for color and is a little spicier than the green version.
Green Thai seafood dipping sauce is made with green chilies and has basil added to tame the spiciness a little and to add a marked herbal overtone which is really tasty.
If you are cooking a meal then it is a great idea to serve both types for visual presentation and also a talking point over dinner.
Making this sauce with a mortar and pestle is definitely better than using a small processor but the processor is quicker and more convenient.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Fresh Garlic Cloves
- Coriander Roots – fresh is best
- Green Jinda Chilies or equivalent spicy chili
- Sweet Basil leaves
- Palm Sugar – brown sugar can be used as an alternative
- Fish sauce
- Lime Juice
- Pickled garlic with pickling liquid
Making Green Thai Seafood Dipping Sauce – Step by Step
Step 1 – Chopping the Herbs
Regardless of whether you will use a mortar and pestle for the best tasting sauce or a mini blender for speed, it is best to chop all the ingredients first.
Chop each ingredient (except the sugar and liquids of course) into small pieces.
Step 2 – Making the Green Sauce
For the min-blender method you can simply add all the chopped ingredients along with the sugar and liquids and whizz for a few seconds until everything is chopped and mixed.
The downside of this method is that it is hard to control the consistency of the dipping sauce meaning that it will end up quite smooth. It’s also hard to avoid a little foaminess on top.
If you want the best green seafood dipping sauce then a mortar and pestle is a must. Using a mortar and pestle is not much extra work really and produces a wonderful aromatic herb style sauce.
Taking each ingredient at a time and beginning with the toughest to grind, coriander root, use the pestle to grind against the sides twisting the pestle as you push.
Keeping the ground herbs in the mortar add another ingredient and grind it to a paste again. Watch the video to see how I use the mortar and pestle.
The benefit of this method is that you will end up with a rougher consistency which makes the dipping sauce more flavorful.
Also the herbs will release more aroma and taste using the grinding method than the high speed chopping action of the blender. There really is a significant difference.
A basic Thai fish sauce that we sometimes use if we cannot find the Megachef brand which we prefer. It's fine.
This versatile mortar is big enough for most jobs but small enough for crushing spices - if you can only buy one get this type
A handy tool for blending quite small quantities. Easy to use and comes with additional storage.
Picked garlic and the pickling liquid are used in quite a few Thai dishes. It lasts well so it is a good thing to have in your inventory.
Recipe for Green Version of Thai Seafood Dipping Sauce
Thai Seafood Dipping Sauce (Green)
The Video showing this recipe being cooked is near the top of the page – A convenient Jump Link to the video is below the description under here.
NOTE: Any In-recipe images can be toggled on and off with the camera icons next to the Instructions header.
- Mortar & Pestle
- Mini Blender
- Prepare all the ingredients, peeling as necessary and chopping into small sized pieces to help the pounding or chopping process.
Mortar & Pestle Method
- Place the chopped coriander root in the mortar and grind with the pestle in a pounding and twisting action until it has broken down as fine as you want it. Next add in and pound the garlic until that is pounded well. Proceed by adding ingredients one by one in order of hardness, pounding each successively to create your sauce and finishing with the soft ingredients.
- Finish off making the sauce by adding the liquid ingredients and palm sugar and mixing together well.
Mini Blender Method
- Put all the ingredients, including the liquid ones, into the blender container and blitz for a few seconds until the desired consistency is reached.
Planning on Making this Recipe?
It would be great if you could take a picture of your finished creation and share it out on Instagram. Tag me with #TASTYTHAIEATS – I love to see your ideas!
I am a Thai mum and love cooking for my children. Over the years, I have taken my family recipes as well as ones borrowed from friends and adapted them to make them even tastier. I publish my authentic Thai Food Recipes here for all to enjoy around the world. When I get a chance to travel I publish information to help others visiting Thailand.