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Thai Spicy Mango Dipping Sauce (Nam Pla Wan)

  • Author: Suwanee
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Indulge in a burst of tropical flavors with this Thai Spicy Mango Dipping Sauce (Nam Pla Wan). It has the perfect blend of sweet, spicy, and savory flavors that will make your mouth want to hang on to every bite like a bee stuck to the honeycomb. It's nearly impossible to stop eating once you start!  Get ready to embark on a flavorful journey like no other!


  • 1/3 cup shallot, chopped small
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce. Some brands are saltier than others. Adjust as needed towards the end with more, if necessary
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ½ cup palm sugar, roughly shaved to thin layers
  • 1-3 tablespoons ground chili flakes. (I used 1 ½ tablespoon) the more you add, the spicier it is!
  • 3-5 fresh Thai chilis, chopped into small pieces (Completely optional)


  1. Heat a small saucepan on medium-low heat and add fish sauce, water, and palm sugar. Stir together with a whisk.
  2. After the sugar dissolves, add the dried shrimp and cook for 1-2 minutes until the shrimp is slightly soft.
  3. Add the shallot and chili flakes, and whisk together often until the shallot is soft and caramelized for about 2 minutes.
  4. Stir with a whisk and cooking until the sauce thickens and golden brown. Add additional fresh chilis if desired for EXTRA spiciness. This is completely optional.
  5. Turn off the heat, and remove the beautiful golden brown sauce into a small bowl. Set it over a cooking wire rack to protect your counter. Let cool completely before serving.
  6. While the sauce is cooling, prepare your fruit to use for dipping. Cut the fruit of choice to the size and shape of a spoon to use as dipping pieces for the sauce.


  • The best fruits for dipping sauce are crispy and starchy, with a semi-sweet and sour taste for this spicy chili dip. Young green mangoes are typically eaten with this sauce but are hard to find in the US and Asian markets. You can use regular mangoes, but make sure they are not ripe. Find the firmest and green mangoes if possible. 
  • Green apples, green pears, firm and crispy peach, jicama, and guava are great for dipping too.
  • The sauce will have a distinctive smell from the fish and dried shrimp. This may take you by surprise but know that it’s completely normal and will go away as soon as you cook the next meal. With strong flavors comes a strong aroma, but the taste is worth it, I promise!
  • Chili flakes. This sauce is typically VERY spicy, but this recipe is easily adaptable if you dislike spiciness. You can easily add more towards the end if needed.

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  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Category: Sauces, appetizers
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: Thai

Keywords: spicy mango dipping sauce, Sweet spicy chili dipping sauce, Mango dipping sauce recipe, Nam Pla Wan, Nam Pla Wan recipe, Thai mango dipping sauce