nuoc mauNuoc mau (pronounced ‘nook mao’, originating from south Vietnam) is the irresistible caramel syrup that is key to many traditional Vietnamese dishes. It is especially important in stews and for marinating meat and seafood. The syrup gives these dishes their distinctive flavors and dark color. You can use nuoc mau anytime you want to barbecue meat by simply adding a tablespoon to your normal marinade. Do not mistake this for a sweet caramel sauce – this will not go well on your dessert! Nuoc mau is easy to make and it lasts forever, so you might as well make up a little batch to keep on thit nuong
boiling caramel syrup

Nuoc Mau - Vietnamese caramel syrup
Serves 12
65 calories
17 g
0 g
0 g
0 g
0 g
41 g
1 g
17 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 65
Calories from Fat 0
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g
Saturated Fat 0g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 1mg
Total Carbohydrates 17g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 17g
Protein 0g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. • 1 cup of sugar
  2. • ¼ cup of water, plus another ½ cup of water
  1. 1. Heat the sugar and ¼ cup of water in a thick-bottom saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir lightly until the sugar is dissolved (tip: once the sugar is dissolved, do not stir anymore, as this will destroy the caramelizing process; you can swirl the saucepan a bit if you need to). The sugar mixture will slowly turn opaque and start to bubble.
  2. 2. After about 15-20 min., the sugar will slowly turn darker in color, which indicates the sugar is starting to caramelize. Continue boiling the sugar mixture until it turns black and smoke starts to rise.
  3. 3. Take the saucepan off the heat and carefully pour ½ cup of water into the mixture. This might be a bit scary as the contact between the burning hot caramel and lukewarm water will create a loud sizzle. The water will make the sugar mixture lumpy, so continue to heat the mixture until the lumps are gone. Swirl the pot to speed the process.
  4. 4. Let the nuoc mau cool off
  1. Store it in an airtight jar at room temperature in a dark cabinet.

Tina Diep

I LOVE FOOD and better yet I LOVE TO COOK.

I can thank my Vietnamese roots. Vietnamese people use a great amount of time cooking and eating, traits which they have learned from their families. Everyone seems to know how to cook, and they are adept at picking fresh and quality foods from the market. Food is a priority in Vietnam – if you eat well, you live well.

I was born in Denmark, and in my mind I am a true Dane. Danish people cook a lot as well, but they prefer to spend less time in the kitchen and more time at the table. I consider myself Vietnamese from a culinary standpoint and Danish from a cultural standpoint (and I live in New York, which is a Mecca for foodies).

My mum is a great cook, she taught me how to chop vegetables and how to just randomly throw things together and somehow get an awesome meal. She makes cooking seem like art, and she is my inspiration for DiepLicious cooking.

My husband loves food as well and he has a great appetite. Cooking for him is a real joy. He has a great interest in everything that concerns health, and loves to point out specific foods and why they are good for you to eat. I will share his knowledge with you. He makes my cooking more challenging, but also a lot healthier.

I offer you one Golden Rule: to enjoy food fully, always taste the food even if you don’t like it. For me it takes a couple of tries to get to know the real flavor.


Recommended Articles

%d bloggers like this: