Creamy Nuoc Cham Potato Salad


This extremely simple potato salad gets all of its personality from a spicy, lime-y, creamy nuoc cham dressing. Nuoc cham is a salty, sweet, spicy, acidic Vietnamese dipping sauce that creates a perfect dressing for tender boiled potatoes when mixed with a little mayonnaise. Certainly not a traditional application, but it’s a delicious one nonetheless.

Active Time: 35 Mins

Total Time: 45 mins



  • 2 pounds small yukon gold potatoes
  • 3 limes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 small bunch cilantro
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 scallions


  • Kosher salt,
  • 2 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoon sambal oelek
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sugar
  • ½ cup mayonnaise

1. Boil the potatoes:

  • Cover 2 pounds small yukon gold potatoes with cold water in a large pot. Season with lottsssss of salt (like ¼ cup or more, really go for it with handfuls).
  • Bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Once it simmers, reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender when poked with tines of a fork. This will vary depending on the size of your pohtates so just keep an eye on things.
  • Drain and run under cold water until cool.

2. Make the creamy nuoc cham dressing:

  • Whisk together the zest of 1 lime and juice of 3 limes, 2 tablespoons fish sauce, 2 tablespoons sambal oelek, 1½ tsp sugar, 2 finely grated garlic cloves, and ½ cup mayo.
  • Thinly slice the stems of a small bunch of cilantro, and stir them into the dressing, reserving the leaves.

3. Assemble:

  • Thinly slice 2 celery stalks (reserving any leaves attached), and 2 scallions on the bias.
  • Roughly chop the cilantro leaves.
  • Break the potatoes into bite sized pieces, exposing their flesh, and add them to the bowl of dressing along with most of the celery, celery leaves, cilantro, and scallions, reserving a small handful of each for garnish.
  • Toss to coat and season with salt until it all starts to taste really vibrant, and spicy, and delicious, and you can’t stop eating it.
  • Transfer to a serving platter and top with the reserved garnishes. This is great at room temperature but can also be made ahead and served cold!

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