Nam Pla Wan

“Nam pla wan” or sweet fish sauce is a perfect sweet dipping sauce when served with sour fruit such as green mango or Granny Smith apple.

In Thailand and many Asian countries we love having fruit with dipping sauce, particularly tarty fruits which definitely need dipping sauce. Most dipping sauces are sweet, salty or spicy which decreases the taste of sour fruits and makes them enjoyable to eat.

Here is a famous dipping sauce we call “Nam pla wan”, which literally means sweet fish sauce. The sauce is sweet, sticky, a little salty and with a hint of spicy sauce. The sauce is perfect with green mango, but living overseas I found that substituting green apple or Granny Smith apple provides a taste as good as green mango.


250g palm sugar

1/2 cup water

1 tbsp glucose syrup

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp Fish sauce

1 tsp Shrimp paste

1/4 – 1/2 cup pounded dried shrimps

1/4 cup sliced shallots

1/4 cup chopped red and green chillies


1. Add palm sugar, water, glucose syrup and salt in a sauce pan. Using low heat bring it to the boil until the sugar is dissolved.

2. Add fish sauce and shrimp paste, and stir to get everything mixed well.

3. Add pounded dried shrimps and stir again

4. Add shallots and chilli then cook further for another few minutes.

5. Leave it to cool. The sauce will get stickier when it is cool. The sauce can be kept in a clean jar in the fridge up to a month.


1. The glucose syrup helps the sauce to get stickier and acquire a glossy look. You can omit the glucose syrup but use more time to simmer the sauce.

2. After slicing green mango or apple put them in the fridge or cover with some ice to get them crunchy and tastier.


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