Cookbook Challenge (citrus) – Luke Nguyen’s salad or dipping sauce

This sauce can be both a salad or a dipping sauce. It may not necessary represent this week’s theme but I wanted to use up the last of my lemons from our currently very bald lemon tree. Our lemon tree was diagnosed with gall wasps which is the lumpy growth on the branches of the tree. It is like cancer for a citrus tree and it has spread all over. I made the drastic decision to prune the tree bald. The gardener has a very weird sense of humour. He actually left one lemon on the tree for me…..

The lemon tree has since grown but still with one lemon stuck on the tree….. this means that we will be without lemons this year… Booo! :(

For this theme, I used the recipe from  Luke Nguyen’s The Songs of Sapa. It is one of my go to cookbooks for inspiration. I love the photography. I love the stories he tells. This is actually his aunty nine’s recipe for a salad sauce and featured at the back the cookbook as a basic recipe. He used it in a beef and kohlrabi salad. And I used it as a dipping sauce during the recent BBQ. It went so well with BBQ lamb, fish and beef! I added an additional birds eye chilli for the extra kick. It was very well received.

salad or dipping sauce

salad or dipping sauce

Please head over to the forum to check out what the rest has created for this challenge – Citrus. It is not too late to sign up!

I will also be submitting this to Delicious Vietnam #10 that is hosted by Flavour Boulevard.  This event is started by Anh of A food lovers’ journey and Hong and Kim from Ravenous Couple.



  • 4tbsp of lemon juice
  • 2tbsp of fish sauce
  • 2tbsp of castor sugar
  • 2 birds eye chilli, finely chopped (Recipe uses 1)
  • 2 cloves of finely diced garlic
  • black pepper


  • Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl or I use a reused bottle and just shake it all together to combine. This can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days