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This sweet and spicy Thai dipping sauce pairs perfectly with sour, crunchy fruits like green mangoes.

Green Mango With Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce (Nam Pla Wan)


  • Firm sour green mangoes, peeled and cut into slices

  • 1/2 cup dried shrimp

  • 3 bird’s eye chilis

  • 3/4 cup palm sugar

  • 1/3 cup white sugar

  • 1/4 cup fish sauce

  • 1 teaspoon dried red chili flakes


  1. In a food processor, pulse together dried shrimp and bird’s eye chilis until coarsely ground.

  2. In a saucepan, add palm sugar, white sugar, red chili flakes, and fish sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened.

  3. Remove from heat and stir in pulverized dried shrimp and red chili flakes. Stir to combine, and allow to cool.

  4. Serve with crunchy sour green mango on the side for dipping. Enjoy!

Green Mango With Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce (Nam Pla Wan)




Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox


- One of the things I love most about traveling is trying things for the very first time. And when I was in Thailand recently, I tried this. It's called nam pla wan, and it is a savory and sweet dipping sauce that goes perfectly with crunchy sour green mangoes. And I'm gonna show you how to make it. This dipping sauce is pretty intense, I'm not gonna lie. And it starts off with some dried shrimp. And to that I'm gonna add some Thai bird chilis, and these guys are fiery. Use as many or as few as you like. But they're just gonna add such a gorgeous flavor. We're gonna pulverize these. Ready, set, let's do it. All right, so they're coarsely ground, not completely pulverized. Which is what I'm looking for. And let's see. Oh, yeah. You smell the chilis, you smell the shrimp for sure. I'm just gonna set it to the side as we assemble the base for our sauce. So it's really, really easy. We have some palm sugar here, and let's give it a taste. It's kind of like brown sugar. Super toffee-like notes, caramel notes coming through. It's really, really good stuff. That goes in. They use a ton of this in Thai cooking. I'm going to go in with some regular, everyday white sugar as well. A little bit of red chili flakes. So we have the fresh chilis, but these chili flakes are gonna add another dimension of heat. And last but not least, guys, this ingredient. I know some people love it, some people hate it. And it is fish sauce. Fish sauce is the extract from fermented anchovies, and I absolutely love it. Some people think it smells rank, but we're gonna add this in, 'cause it's gonna add such great flavor. Now, we're gonna bring it to the simmer. Have all those beautiful sugars cooked down and get nice and thick. Then while that's cooking down, you want to get it nice and syrupy, I'm gonna peel and cut my mangoes. So we're using green mangoes today, and green mangoes are super firm, and they have a really crunchy interior, and a super sour flavor. And so the sourness of the mango paired with the sweetness and spiciness of the dip is an unbelievable combination. You just wanna get a little bit of the skin off, 'cause it's a tad tough. And expose that light green flesh underneath. All right, and so the mango has a pit in the middle, and you just wanna use the sort of center point as a guide to figure out where it is. And just slice along the side of the pit. And then expose it. If you get a little bit of the pit like this, don't worry about it, we can take care of that a little later. And we'll get the other half as well. Perfect. Okay, this is bubbly. It looks amazing. You can really smell all those flavors coming to life. And last but not least, I'm gonna stir in our shrimp and chili mixture. My mouth is already watering, I'm so excited for this. I'm kind of a fiend for sour things, and this is right up my alley. I'm just gonna let it hang here before we transfer it to the bowl. And then you're just gonna slice up the mango. And if you have any little bits of seed or core that came through, you can just cut that off very easily like this. There we go, that's taken care of. All right, this is done. I'm just gonna turn off the heat. And then we're gonna let it cool to room temperature, 'cause right now it's like molten lava. So you want to let it hang. All right, so this has cooled down nicely. And I'm just gonna transfer it to a bowl and watch it. Oh, girl, yes. Look at it glisten. Oh, yeah. And now it's just a matter of dipping and tasting. And look at that, oh yes. The chunks of shrimp in there, the chilis. My mouth is literally watering so much. Mm. Mm! This takes me straight back to Thailand. The crisp shrimp in there is amazing. With those chilis, the sweetness of the sugars. And the kicker, the fish sauce, just puts it over the top. Don't hate on fish sauce, you guys, until you try it. It's called nam pla wan, and it might replace your ranch dipping sauce the next time you have a vegetable platter. Who knows?