Fish sauce is a key player in dressings like Vietnamese nuoc cham, but it can also provide a savory backbone that a simple vinegar-and-olive-oil mixture is often missing. If you want a simple way to add umami to roast chicken, a tomato-avocado salad, or grilled fish, this vinaigrette is for you. A little splash of water helps stretch the dressing and dilute the salinity of the fish sauce, and a touch of Dijon mustard adds a musky, sweet, peppery note.
- In a bowl with a whisk, mix together the fish sauce, water, vinegar, chile flakes, and mustard. Add the olive oil, mix well again, and serve.
Christian is a California based chef, writer, and freelance recipe developer. He spent the last five years cooking as sous chef at Zuni Café. He has a bi-monthly cooking column in the San Francisco Chronicle and has words in Edible Magazine, Food52, and Epicurious. When he's not at home he's traveling to Mexico, exploring its cuisine and his heritage.