Thai Foods Ep.3

Thai Dipping Sauce for Grilled and Roasted Meats - Nam Jim Jeaw

by Thomas M. Tillman
Nam Jim Jeaw is the Thai "universal" dipping sauce for any kind of grilled or roasted meats. BBQ chicken, grilled steaks, roasted pork belly, even grilled fish, can all benefit from a little jeaw dip. It's also the perfect way to spice up your leftover roast! Even though jeaw is native to "Isaan" or the northeastern part of Thailand, it is so popular that it is enjoyed all over the country. The recipe below is a very basic jeaw, and you can absolutely change up the flavour by making it sweeter with more sugar, or add some tamarind paste for a thicker consistency. Check out some of my meat recipes that are traditionally served with nam jim jeaw:


If you have a roast that you're happy with, and want to eat it again as-is but want a bit of a different sauce on it (or maybe you ran out of gravy!), this is the perfect dipping sauce that will go with turkey, chicken, and especially roast beef!


Makes enough for about 300g (10oz) of leftover meat, but feel free to adjust if you're a "heavy dipper".
  • 1 Tbsp uncooked white rice
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped palm sugar or light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice (or use 2 tsp tamarind paste and 2 tsp lime juice for a thicker sauce)
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 heaping Tbsp thinly julienned shallots
  • ¼ tsp roasted chili flakes, or whatever spicy chili powder you (see note)
  • Chopped cilantro or mint, or another fresh herb, optional
Note: Make roasted chili flakes by baking dried chilies in a 300°F (150°C) oven for 5-7 minutes or until dark and smokey. Then grind it in a spice grinder. 


  1. Make toasted rice powder: In a dry saute pan, add the rice and cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly until the rice has a deep brown colour. Remove from heat and grind into a powder in a mortar and pestle or using a coffee grinder.
  2. Using a mortar and pestle, add the palm sugar and pound to break up any lumps into a powder. Add fish sauce and lime juice, and swirl to dissolve the sugar. Stir in shallots and chili flakes.
  3. When ready to serve, stir in toasted rice powder and fresh herbs.