Easy Vietnamese Salad Dressing: A Tangy Explosion of Flavor for Your Greens

Oh, the joys of the morning frenzy: pajama-clad kids catapulting through the living room, screaming their lungs out, and hiding pancake pieces in your shoes (true story!), leaving you baffled and craving a caffeine intervention. Enter the bold, velvety, and luscious—yes, you guessed it—Vietnamese coffee. That magical potion that can transform any wreck of a mom into a wonder mama, ready to rock the day. No cape needed! But hold on, let’s not spill the beans just yet.

Punny, I know. But hear me out: what if I told you that the same sense of international adventure that got you hooked on Vietnamese coffee can also give your salads a one-way ticket to Flavor Town? Fasten your seatbelt because we’re about to shake up that leafy world, tossing Thai basil and cilantro into the mix, with a mouthwatering Vietnamese Salad Dressing that’s O-M-Goodness level delish!

Fear not, the recipe won’t require caffeinated leaves or anything bizarre like that. Just gear up for an epic flavor journey, where East meets West and your greens will swagger with a new zing. So, while coffee might still be your lifeline, this dressing will swoop in like a stealthy sidekick, saving your salads from the clutches of boredom. Watch out, Wonder Mama; we’re about to rule the saladverse!


  1. Sesame oil – A must-have in any Asian cuisine that adds a nutty flavor and aroma.

  2. Fresh lime juice – The perfect balance of sourness and freshness.

  3. Fish sauce – A staple in Vietnamese cooking that adds a unique umami flavor. If unavailable, soy sauce or tamari can be used as a substitute.

  4. Honey – A touch of sweetness to round out the flavors and a great natural sweetener alternative to processed sugar.


  1. Grab a small bowl and toss in 2 Tbsp of sesame oil, the juice from one lime, 1 tsp of fish sauce, and 1 Tbsp of honey. If sesame oil is not available, you can use olive oil or avocado oil as well. Fish sauce can be a bit of an acquired taste, but it’s a staple in Southeast Asian cooking, so if you’re feeling adventurous, give it a try! If you are vegan, you can replace fish sauce with soy sauce or tamari.
  2. Once you’ve got all those ingredients in the bowl, go ahead and give it a good mix until everything is combined. And that’s it! Your dressing is ready to use. It’s perfect for a quick lunch or dinner. You can also double the recipe if you’re feeding a crowd or want to have some on hand for the week.
  3. You can use this dressing on any salad or you can drizzle it over your chicken, shrimp or tofu. You can also toss it with pasta, or pile it onto toast and top it with a poached or soft-boiled egg. There are endless possibilities with this dressing. It stores well in the fridge for up to a week. So, you can always have it ready when you need it.

Serving Suggestions for Vietnamese Salad Dressing

  • Salad Topper – Drizzle this dressing over your favorite greens, veggies, and fruits for a healthy and tasty salad.
  • Marinade – This dressing doubles as a marinade! Marinate chicken, beef, or tofu for a few hours before grilling or roasting for a flavor-packed meal.
  • Rice Bowl – Pour a generous amount over your rice bowl for a sweet and tangy twist.
  • Stir-Fry – Toss in with your stir-fry ingredients for a quick and easy meal with a delicious twist.
  • Dipping Sauce – This dressing doubles as a dipping sauce for spring rolls, dumplings, and more!


What kind of salad can I use this dressing on?

You can use this Vietnamese Salad Dressing on any salad you like! It’s perfect for greens, shredded carrots and cucumber, or even on a quinoa salad for a little bit of a twist.

Can I use this dressing as a marinade for meat?

Absolutely! This dressing is perfect as a marinade for beef, chicken, or pork. Just coat the meat with the dressing and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before cooking for maximum flavor.

Is sesame oil necessary for this recipe or can I use something else?

Sesame oil is a key ingredient in this recipe, but if you don’t have any on hand, you can also use olive oil or avocado oil as a substitute. The flavor will be slightly different, but it will still be delicious.

Is there a vegan alternative for the fish sauce?

While fish sauce is a traditional ingredient in this recipe, you can definitely make it vegan by swapping it out for soy sauce or coconut aminos. It will have a slightly different flavor, but it’ll still be tasty.

Is this dressing spicy?

This dressing doesn’t have any spicy ingredients, so it’s not spicy at all! But if you like a little kick, you could add a little bit of chili flakes or sriracha to give it some heat.

Vietnamese Salad Dressing

A tangy, sweet and savory dressing that perfectly balances flavors, is easy to make and goes well with any salad or marinade.
Prep Time 2 minutes
Total Time 2 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine American, Vietnamese
Servings 2
Calories 166 kcal


  • Small mixing bowl
  • Whisk


  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the sesame oil, lime juice, fish sauce and honey.
  • If desired, add minced garlic, grated ginger, red chili flakes and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Whisk ingredients together until thoroughly combined.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
  • Use as a dressing over your favorite salad or as a marinade for beef or chicken.


For a thicker dressing, add 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise or Greek yogurt.
The dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


Calories: 166kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 0.8gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 2.5gSodium: 514mgPotassium: 23mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 2mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Salad Dressing, Easy
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

You May Also Like