A classic Vietnamese dipping sauce, nuoc cham is equal parts savory, sour, spicy, and sweet thanks to a mix of fish sauce, lime juice, fresh chiles, and sugar. Here you’ll blend those same flavors into a cold gazpacho base, playing up the natural sweetness of ripe heirloom tomatoes. To help emulsify the mixture, sesame oil stands in for the traditional olive oil, providing nutty balance and helping to curb the heat.
All products featured on Bon Appétit are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through the retail links below, we earn an affiliate commission.
medium red Fresno chiles
lb. heirloom tomatoes, coarsely chopped
large English hothouse cucumber, peeled, seeds removed, coarsely chopped
garlic clove, finely grated
cup fresh lime juice
tsp. Diamond Crystal or 1¼ tsp. Morton kosher salt
Tbsp. fish sauce
Tbsp. toasted sesame oil, plus more for drizzling
Sesame seeds (for serving)
Remove dark green parts from 3 scallions and thinly slice; set aside. Coarsely chop white and pale green parts. Cut a few thin slices off 1 medium red Fresno chile and set slices aside for serving.Step 2
Toss white and pale green parts of scallions, 2 lb. heirloom tomatoes, coarsely chopped, ½ large English hothouse cucumber, peeled, seeds removed, coarsely chopped, 1 garlic clove, finely grated, ¼ cup fresh lime juice, 2 tsp. Diamond Crystal or 1¼ tsp. Morton kosher salt, and 1 tsp. sugar in a medium bowl to combine. Let sit 30 minutes for tomatoes and cucumber to release some of their liquid.Step 3
Transfer tomato mixture to a blender and add 3 Tbsp. fish sauce, 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil, and remaining 1 or 2 medium red Fresno chiles (depending on your heat preference). Blend until smooth, then strain through a mesh sieve into an airtight container. Cover and chill until cold, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.Step 4
To serve, ladle gazpacho among bowls. Top with sesame seeds and reserved dark green scallion parts and chile slices; lightly drizzle with oil.