Duk morech aka Cambodian Lime-Pepper Dipping Sauce by Vireak, Kaoh Trong, Kracheh Province, Cambodia

Pomelo Homestay is located on a small island in the Mekong, a short boat ride across the river from Kratie (sometimes spelled Kracheh), 3 hours northeast of Phnom Penh. We traveled to this small town hoping to catch glimpses of the near-extinct sub-population of Irrawaddy River Dolphins that swim here. We chose this homestay because the Airbnb reviews gushed about what a wonderful host Vireak was, and they were right. When we arrived, both kids were hungry, sweaty and super-grumpy. Vireak immediately sprang into action, providing fresh cold watermelon and then proceeding to whip up a 3-course lunch, which included Oyster Mushroom Tempura served with this simple but absolutely delicious dipping sauce. We mowed through it quickly and had to make a second batch. At home, I will plan to double or even triple the recipe! 


  • 2 tbsp lime* juice 
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper**
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp fish sauce (more traditional) or salt
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced


  • Mix everything together!

*The limes that are widely available in Cambodia are tiny – the size of a large grape or maybe small walnut, and have a bit of a stronger taste than the variety sold in American grocery stores. A bit of grated lime zest would kick this sauce up a notch. 

** For an authentic Cambodian taste, use Kampot peppercorns, which are grown in southern Cambodia and have a floral hint and deeper flavor than other varieties. Using freshly ground black pepper – of any variety – will provide a better and stronger flavor.  

Vireak in action! He was arranging our dolphin-watching expedition while simultaneously cooking us lunch at this traditional rural Cambodian stove.

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