Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat in Cambodia
the world's largest religious monument built in the 12th century
now a world heritage site
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Tik Trei Pa-em
Sweet Dipping Sauce


This basic sauce is used as a dip for 'nem chian'fried spring rolls,  'nem sroah' - fresh spring rolls,  'banh-chev' - Cambodian yellow pancake' and 'num Kruok' - rice coconut pancakes (similar to the poffertjes, the Dutch pancakes).

It can be stored in a sterilised jar at room temperature for up to 1 month providing you use a clean spoon everytime you serve yourself to some of the sauce.  In the fridge, it could keep for up to at least 6 months.


Makes 420 ml (13.5 fl oz)


Sugar 6 Tbsp (⅓ cup) – more if desired
Fish sauce 6 Tbsp (⅓ cup)
Rice or cider vinegar 6 Tbsp (⅓ cup)
Boiling water 240 ml (1 cup)
Garlic 2 cloves, peeled and very finely chopped
Salt 1 pinch
Cayenne chilli peppers 1, sliced and finely chopped (or use ¼ of a red bell pepper as an alternative)
Unsalted roasted peanuts 4 Tbsp, coarsely crushed (for topping)
Shallots 3 - peeled and very thinly sliced lengthwise (optional)

Stir together the water and sugar until dissolved. Then add garlic, fish sauce, salt, vinegar, chillies and sliced shallots, if using. Cover and allow the flavour to mingle for at least one hour.

Alternatively, just roughly chop the garlic and chilli. Transfer them to a pestle and mortar. Add the sugar and salt and pound for about 15 seconds or until smooth (or use an electric grinder instead).  Mix in the water, fish sauce and vinegar. Finally add the sliced shallots, if using.

Sprinkle with crushed unsalted roasted peanuts just before serving.

For a more varied texture and flavour, omit the shallots and use fine julienned carrot or jicama (yam bean).

Some people prefer 'Hoi-sin dipping sauce' to this sauce. It is simply because it is thicker and sweeter.