Vietnamese Chimichurri Snazz Sauce

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The Pasta Man is a young lawyer from Washington, DC. He cooks a lot of pasta and other things, too. He blogs at

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There are times when all one wants in life is a steak, perfectly cooked. And there are times when one gets tired of steak, perfectly cooked, and wants to snazz said steak up with awesome sauce.

You may already be familiar with chimichurri, the Argentinean sauce of parsley and garlic that’s slathered on delicious, delicious meats. When traveling in Spain last year, I had the best pork chop of my life covered in “Ximichurri,” a Basque take on it. Spain, Argentina… something is going on here. And the other day, I thought to myself, “Self, I wonder if there is a Vietnamese steak sauce.”

Spoiler alert. Yes, there is:




You know, I really don’t intend for my blog to be a never-ending homage to Mark Bittman, but there are times when I Google “Vietnamese steak sauce,” thinking to myself, “Self, how about a Vietnamese version of that perfect bite from Spain,” and what pops up is a Bittman column about Vietnamese chimichurri. I mean, come on, I was only thinking about chimichurri: how did the Internets know that’s what I wanted? Alert the NSA.

Anyway, this sauce. What a sauce! Salty and savory from fish sauce, fragrant and lively from fresh herbs, spicy from a chili… An incredible accompaniment to steak, I’m sure it’d work with other meats or even a hearty fish. And it turned out that the Magic Bullet worked perfectly for this sauce, providing an easy way to grind everything up without making any mess.

Vietnamese Chimichurri Snazz Sauce

(Adapted from Mark Bittman)


  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 small dried chili or 1 tsp crushed red chili flakes, or to taste
  • juice from 1/2 of a lime
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 medium sized shallot
  • 1 bunch fresh mint, washed (or use cilantro)
  • 1 bunch Thai basil, washed (or use cilantro)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  1. Put all ingredients in large Magic Bullet cup with chopper attachment.
  2. Blend in Magic Bullet until mixture is sauce-like.
  3. Serve over chicken, meat, or hearty fish.