Nam Jim Thai Dressing

Do you love the fresh classic balanced Thai flavours of sweet, sour, spice and salt? This nam jim Thai dressing (Nahm Jim sauce) hits all those delicious notes. Perfect served over Thai salads, seafood or as a Thai dipping sauce. This Thai dressing recipe is super simple, so let’s bring those delicious Thai flavours to your kitchen!

Ingredients for thai dressing in mortar and pestle.


This recipe only requires a few classic Thai ingredients:

  • 3 Garlic cloves – peeled
  • 1 1/2 Red chilli’s – de seeded and roughly chopped
  • Half a bunch of fresh coriander – roughly chopped
  • The juice of 2 lemons or 3 limes
  • 1 tablespoon of palm sugar – a great sugar alternative as it contains less glucose and has a lower glycemic index than standard sugar.
  • 2 teaspoons of fish sauce – a fermented fish sauce, popular in Sough East Asia. It can be found in most supermarkets. Fish sauce as a strong flavour so we recommend adding it slowly and adjusting to taste.

How to make a Thai dressing

Authentic Thai food is all about balancing sweet, sour, spice and salt. Nahm jim dressing is classic Thai and yet simple to make at home. We love to use our pestle and mortar to pound and mix the ingredients for this dressing but you can use a mini chopper too.

  • Start by creating a paste – pound (or blend) the garlic, chilli and coriander together.
  • Then pound in the palm sugar and mix in the lemon or lime juice.
  • Lastly, mix in the fish sauce a little at a time and tasting as we go. Fish sauce is a strong flavour that can be overpowering, so go slowly and adjust to your taste and enjoy!

Serving suggestions

Nahm Jim is a classic Thai salad dressing. But it’s also delicious with prawn skewers, grilled squid, steamed fish or as a dipping sauce.

How to store nam jim

A great recipe for making a head. Once ready store in a sealed far in the fridge and it will last up to 2 days. A great dressing or sauce to have ready on the go!

Frequently asked questions

Is nam Jim dressing spicy?

It can be but making this dressing from scratch allows you to adjust the flavours and spice level to your taste. Follow our recipe and adjust to you heat to your liking.

Where is nahm Jim from?

Nahm Jim is a classic dressing and sauce from Thailand.

What does nam jim taste like?

Nam Jim dressing or sauce is classic Thai with sweet, sour, spice and salt flavours balanced perfectly.

Nam Jim dressing with salad ingredients

So whether you are looking for a delicious salad dressing, a dipping sauce or something to drizzle over your fish or seafood, this is a great versatile recipe to have in your collection.

Nahm Jim Thai dressing is simple to make and easy to store, perfect for bringing a taste of Thai to your dishes. ENJOY!

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Our goal is to share simple, tasty dishes created by Chef Shane and partner, Sara. Using Shane’s understanding of flavours and knowledge of food, to teach and inspire you to create delicious food everyday and gain a new level of confidence in the kitchen. Sara understands what it’s like preparing weekly dinners for a busy family of five and likes to create dishes that are easy, full of flavour and that the whole family will enjoy.

Happy cooking!

First posted 19th July 2021, updated 27th April 2022.

Ingredients for thai dressing in mortar and pestle.
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5 from 4 votes

Nahm Jim Thai Dressing

Classic sweet, sour, spicy and salty Thai flavours, Nahm Jim Thai dressing, is great with salad, over fish, seafood or as a dipping sauce.
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: Chilli, Coriander, Salad dressing, Simple And Tasty Recipe, Thai, Thai dressing, Thai Food
Servings: 4
Author: Sara-Jane Bowness


  • 3 cloves Garlic Peeled
  • Red chilli's De seeded, rough chopped
  • ½ bunch Coriander Roughly chopped
  • 2 Lemons (or 3 limes) Juice only
  • 1 tbsp Palm sugar
  • 2 tsp Fish sauce


  • Grab your pestle and mortar and add the garlic, chilli, coriander and pound to a paste. (You can also use a mini chopper)
  • Add the sugar and pound into mix. Then add the lemon juice and mix well.
  • Use the fish sauce to season to taste. You want to find a balance of sweet, sour, spicy and salty. Fish sauce can be quite overpowering so add slowly and taste as you go. Enjoy!


For storage: Keep in an airtight container in the fridge. It will stay fresh for up to 2 days.

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