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13 Sauces for Pho to Level up Your Bowl

13 Sauces for Pho to Level up Your Bowl

Dreaming of a bowl of pho?

Maybe you don’t have a Vietnamese restaurant nearby.

Or if you do, maybe you’re watching your budget for takeout.

That’s neither here nor there though as pho is easy enough to make at home.

You just need broth, noodles, beef (or another protein), bean sprouts, green onions, and sauce.

But what sauce should you use for pho?

Well, that really depends on your mood! 

You can use a variety of different pho sauces to make your pho your own.

Even better, you can set up a sauce station when you make it for family and friends.

This way, everyone gets to have their pho their way!

Here Are 13 Sauces You Can Use on Your Pho!

Discover exciting new flavors with your pho every time with these Vietnamese sauce for pho!

1. Sriracha

Sriracha sauce

You’ll know this Vietnamese sauce for pho from the rooster on the bottle.

No roosters are involved in this sauce though.

Adding sriracha to your pho gives it a mild and limey taste.

Oddly enough, this sauce is from Thailand but it is a staple condiment used in pho.

Sriracha is made from distilled vinegar, sugar, garlic, chili, and salt.

It’s bright and cheerful, adding just the right amount of zippiness to your bowl of pho. 

2. Hoisin Sauce

Hoisin Sauce sauce

Hoisin sauce is one of the most popular Vietnamese sauces for pho, and for good reason.

It has a thick texture that’s similar to ketchup and a bit of a sweet taste.

If you’re not a lover of spicy things, hoisin sauce will be a favorite addition to your bowl of pho.

Dip the meat into the sauce and savor every bite. 

Hoisin sauce is made from soybeans, vinegar, red chilis, garlic, fennel, sugar, and Chinese five-spice powder. 

3. Fish Sauce

Fish Sauce

We’ll start by saying that fish sauce isn’t a common pho condiment, but it really should be!

It has an umami, savory, and earthy quality that adds complexity to your bowl.

Pungent and a little bit briny, just a dash of fish sauce can add to that saltiness your homemade pho may be missing.

Plus, you can use this sauce for pho along with the other pho condiments to give your creation more craveable flavor!

4. Chili Garlic Sauce

Chili Garlic Sauce

While chili garlic sauce looks a lot like sriracha, it’s completely different.

You can’t squeeze this stuff out of a bottle because it’s thicker. 

Homemade chili garlic sauce is the best, but if you want to buy it, you’ll typically find it in a jar.

Those that love things spicy will absolutely love dipping pho toppings into it.

Or even dropping a huge blob of it right on top of the bowl. 

Now that’s the way to do it!

5. Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce


Nuoc cham is full of flavor, and while it’s not often used for pho, you’ll love it!

Plus, it can be used to dip many other things too from meats to spring rolls.

It’s made with olive oil, fish sauce, lime, red chili paste, cilantro, mint, garlic, brown sugar, shallots, and salt.

All these fresh flavors come together to create truly addicting flavors you’re going to love serving with your pho.

The Asian Caucasian can show you how to make your own from scratch!

6. Vietnamese Fermented Shrimp Sauce 


They call it ‘mam tom’ but you’ll surely call it delicious!

Vietnamese fermented shrimp sauce is a simple and tasty way to boost your pho to the next level.

You’ll use a few things you’re familiar with like sugar, lime juice, garlic, and chili peppers.

And you’ll combine that with fermented shrimp paste and MSG to make this umami sauce, especially if you use shrimp as your protein.

Vicky Pham can show you just how easy it is to make!

7. Muoi Ot Xanh

Muoi Ot Xanh sauce

When making pho with shrimp, using green seafood sauce is a great way to change up the flavors.

You can buy muou ot xanh in Asian supermarkets.

It’s easy to spot with its pretty green color.

Made with green Thai chilis, green bell peppers, lime juice, sugar, lime leaves, salt, and sweetened condensed milk, it is sweet, sour, spicy, and savory all at once!

While it is primarily used for seafood, one taste and you’ll want to put this pho sauce on basically everything else you eat!

8. Ginger Fish Sauce

Ginger Fish Sauce

The Vietnamese often use a ginger fish sauce for grilled seafood.

But you can snag it over to your bowl of pho.

Especially if your pho has seafood, or even poached chicken.

It has a sweet yet sour and spicy taste.

With grated ginger, you get a nice zing of it while smashing the garlic gives it such an aroma, it’s hard to beat.

This sauce is made using the fish sauce condiment along with sugar, fresh ginger, garlic, lime, and red chili peppers.

You can make it full of heat if you keep the seeds from the peppers or create a milder version for pho sauces by leaving the seeds out. 

9. Peanut Sauce 

Peanut Sauce

If you’re having your pho with some spring rolls, peanut sauce is a must!

But it’s also great to dunk your pho toppings into it too.

Creamy Vietnamese peanut sauce is so good, you’ll be turning to this condiment to make all your pho dreams come true.

It’s made with minced garlic, creamy peanut butter, hoisin sauce, and chicken stock.

Adding crushed toasted peanuts on top is optional but absolutely encouraged.

And if you want it to be a little on the spicy side, go ahead and drizzle in some sriracha for an unmatched way to rock a bowl of pho!

10. Caramelized Vegetable Fish Sauce 

Caramelized Vegetable Fish Sauce

If you have a few extra minutes to boost your pho sauce offerings, you’ll want to try mam kho quet.

This vegetable dipping sauce is made with a caramelized fish sauce for an extraordinary layer of flavor.

You can dunk your veggies from the pho in this and be swept away in the complexity of tastes.

It starts by rendering pork fat until it becomes crispy.

Then you use that fat by adding shallots, garlic, and dried shrimp.

Once you can smell the aromas, add fish sauce and sugar until it boils and becomes thick.

Now you have a sauce everyone will beg for with their pho!

11. Soy Dipping Sauce

Soy Dipping Sauce

While they say you should never ask for soy sauce when dining at a Vietnamese restaurant, at home, you can trot out this familiar ingredient…with a twist.

For those hearty bowls of pho, dipping your toppings into a soy sauce-based creation is a delicious way to go.

But don’t just pour soy sauce into a bowl and call it a day!

You’ll heat sesame oil in a pan and add garlic, scallion whites, and red pepper flakes.

Then you’ll add rice wine vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce.

Top this sauce for pho off with the chopped green parts of the scallions and it’s pho time!

12. Fermented Anchovy Sauce 

Fermented Anchovy Sauce

Now, if you love the regular fish sauce with your pho but are looking to branch out, mam nem is the perfect solution!

This fermented anchovy sauce is great for pho with beef.

And if you have spring rolls to enjoy too, you’ll scoop up every last drop of this sauce, ‘pho’ sure!

It’s made with lemongrass, garlic, fermented fish sauce, crushed pineapples, sugar, lime juice, and red chili peppers.

While it sounds like an absurd combination, it lends that incredible umami that blows regular fish sauce away!

13. Nuoc Mam Sa Ot

Nuoc Mam Sa Ot

Finally, the fragrant lemongrass dipping sauce known as nuoc mam sa ot is ideal for seafood pho dishes.

While lemongrass is a big part of it, you’ll also get plenty of garlic, chili, lime juice and sugar which creates a sweet, sour, and spicy flavor.

The finish is citrusy though which makes it a bit different from other Vietnamese sauces with similar ingredients.

It will be a wonderful addition to your pho sauce lineup!

Now that you have more pho sauces to use, you can see which one you like best!

sauces for pho hdr

Best Sauces for Pho to Level Up Your Bowl

ideas and recipes for Pho sauces
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian


  • Sriracha
  • Hoisin Sauce
  • Fish Sauce
  • Chili Garlic Sauce
  • Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce
  • Vietnamese Fermented Shrimp Sauce
  • Muoi Ot Xanh
  • Ginger Fish Sauce
  • Peanut Sauce
  • Caramelized Vegetable Fish Sauce
  • Soy Dipping Sauce
  • Fermented Anchovy Sauce
  • Nuoc Mam Sa Ot


  • Choose your desired sauce.
  • Gather and organize needed ingredients.
  • Create a tasty sauce to complete your Pho bowl!

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