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Thai Mango Dipping Sauce Recipe (Nam Pla Wan)

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This Thai mango dipping sauce recipe, or nam pla wan, is packed with aromatic spices and is perfect for dipping green mangoes or other fruits. Traditionally made in Thailand with dried shrimp, it’s popular as a dip for sour mangoes or any firm fruit that needs a spicy kick.

Thai mango dipping sauce in a clay sauce cup, with parts of green mango spread around it.

This Thai fruit dipping sauce is perfect for those who love spicy flavors! It’s great for serving at parties and gatherings, just like this Thai spicy peanut sauce, Thai hot sauce, and Thai green chili sauce.

In this nam pla waan recipe, I’ll share plenty of tips on how to make the tastiest dipping sauce at home, and also some advice on how to pick the best green mangoes at the supermarket. If you’d prefer to skip straight to the instructions, you do that below!

What is nam pla wan

Nam pla wan is a traditional Thai dipping sauce made with palm sugar, fish sauce, and chili. It’s often paired with tart fruits like green mangoes, offering a flavor mix of sweet, salty, and spicy.


In Thai, mamuang is mango, and nam pla wan translates to sweetened fish sauce.

Thai mango dipping sauce tips

This Thai sauce for mango is very easy to make. Below, you’ll find some tips and tricks, and then we’ll quickly go over the ingredients and dive into the instructions!

Thai woman presenting plate of Thai mango dipping sauce with green mangoes.

Adjust the heat level: Use only a small amount of red pepper flakes initially, especially if you’re not a fan of spicy food. You can always add more if you like it hotter.

Balance the flavors: The best Thai mango dipping sauce strikes the perfect balance between sour, salty, sweet, and spicy. As you prepare the sauce, taste it and adjust these flavors to suit your preferences.

Fruit pairings: This sauce pairs beautifully with sour mangoes, which are traditional in Thai cuisine. However, you can also try it with other tangy fruits to discover new favorite combinations.

Sliced mango arranged around mango fruit dipping sauce.

Did you know that Thai and Lao cuisines are incredibly similar? On this Thai food blog, you’ll also find the Lao version of this fruit dipping sauce, called jeow mak muang!

How to choose the best green mango

With the perfect Thai condiment, you need the perfect piece of fruit.

Hand dipping mango slice in Thai green mango dipping sauce.

The ideal green mango should be firm to the touch, indicating it’s unripe. Look for a uniform light to dark green color, without any bruises, dark spots, or hints of yellow or orange, which can indicate ripeness.

For the most authentic taste and quality, try to buy your green mangoes at Asian supermarkets or specialty grocery stores, where you’re more likely to find the best varieties for this use.

Ingredients

Ingredients can be sourced at Asian grocery stores and Asian markets.
The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the end of this post.


Ingredients for mango dipping sauce: Green mangoes, dried chili flakes, flowers, shallots, chopped red chili, a wooden spoon with water, dried shrimp, and palm sugar on top of a bamboo serving tray.
  • Dried shrimp – A traditional key ingredient in Southeast Asian cuisine that adds a unique texture and boosts the umami flavor.
  • Shrimp paste – Essential for adding a potent umami depth
  • Fish sauce – A staple in Thai cooking, used to infuse this Thai mango dipping sauce with a deep, salty, and umami flavor.
  • Palm sugar – A natural sweetener with a rich caramel-like taste, offering a more complex flavor than regular white sugar and brown sugar.
  • Thai chili flakes – Make your own using my chili flakes recipe for a fresh, fiery kick, or opt for store-bought red pepper flakes for convenience.
  • Fresh chili peppers (optional) – I like to add extra chilies like bird’s eye chili or Thai Jinda chili since I prefer a spicy green mango sauce. You can also choose a milder variety for less heat, or simply leave the extra chilies out.
  • Shallots – Add a subtle, sweet, and slightly sharp flavor.
  • Water – Used to adjust the consistency of this Thai mango sauce.

Short recipe video

How to make Thai green mango dipping sauce

  1. Thai mango dipping sauce preparation in a clay pot.

    Step 1: Heat a cooking pot over medium heat and add water, palm sugar, shrimp paste, fish sauce, chopped chilies, shallots, dried shrimp, and dried chili flakes.

  2. Step 2: Stir until all ingredients blend together, close the lid and boil for 5 minutes. Then transfer your nam pla wan to a serving cup of your choice.

  3. Slicing and peeling green mangoes over a wooden cutting board.

    Step 3: Peel green mangoes using a vegetable peeler and slice them into thin slices. Transfer sliced mangoes to a bowl filled with cold water to keep them fresh. Dip and enjoy!

Kitchenware

  1. Thai mortar and pestle or food processor (for making chili flakes)
  2. Pot and stirring spoon
  3. Cutting board and a sharp knife
  4. Vegetable peeler

Recipe notes

  • Look for bruise-free and firm green mangoes with a vibrant color, these are sour and go hand-in-hand with this dipping sauce for green mango.
  • The amount of water you use affects the sauce’s consistency. Avoid making the sauce too thin.
  • To add freshness to the dip, you can include herbs of your choice, like mint or basil.
  • Don’t forget to adjust the spiciness to your spice-level.

What to serve Thai sauce for mango with

Serve this Thai mango sauce for mango by slicing mangoes thinly and arranging them around a bowl of sauce on a platter. Besides mango, this versatile sauce pairs well with other tangy fruits such as pineapple, papaya, and apple.

How to store Thai mango sauce

You can serve the sauce immediately after preparation, or refrigerate it for a chilled version. Slice the mangoes thinly and refrigerate them if desired. Any leftover sauce should be cooled to room temperature and promptly refrigerated in an airtight container, allowing you to enjoy the leftovers for up to one week.

Frequently asked questions

Can I make this mango sauce ahead of time?

Yes, you can prep this sauce and store it fresh and chilled in your refrigerator for up to 1 week. I like it best when it’s chilled, I also like to chill the slices of mango before eating them.

Is this dipping sauce vegan?

Thai mango dipping sauce traditionally contains dried shrimp, so this authentic recipe is not vegan. For a vegan chili dip, you can head over to my nam prik noom recipe.

Authentic Thai dipping sauce recipes

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Thai Mango Dipping Sauce Recipe (Nam Pla Wan)

Thai mango dipping sauce in a clay sauce cup, with parts of green mango spread around it.
This Thai mango dipping sauce recipe for nam pla wan makes a tangy and sweet flavorful dip that's perfect for fresh fruits, especially unripe green mangoes.
Praew
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Cuisine Thai
Course Dipping sauce
Serving Size 6 people

Ingredients

  • 2 shallots finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried shrimp
  • 1 teaspoon dried chili flakes
  • 1/3 cup palm sugar
  • 1 chili
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
  • 0.5 tablespoon fish sauce

Instructions

  • Heat a cooking pot over medium heat and add water, palm sugar, shrimp paste, fish sauce, chopped chilies, shallots, dried shrimp, and dried chili flakes.
  • Stir until all ingredients blend together, close the lid and boil for 5 minutes. Then transfer your nam pla wan to a serving cup of your choice.
  • Peel green mangoes using a vegetable peeler and slice them into thin slices. Transfer sliced mangoes to a cup filled with cold water to keep them fresh. Dip and enjoy!

Notes

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • Look for bruise-free and firm green mangoes with a vibrant color, these are sour and go hand-in-hand with this dipping sauce.
  • Adjust the spiciness to your personal spice-level.
  • Serve immediately, or chill in your refrigerator before serving.
  • Store in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 1 week.

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