5 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons water
1/3 cup fish sauce
1/2 cup lime or lemon juice (about 3 limes or 2 lemons)
1 large clove garlic, crushed, peeled and sliced or minced
1 or more bird's eye or Thai chiles, seeded and sliced or minced
1 shallot, peeled, thinly sliced, rinsed, and drained (optional)
Whisk together the sugar, water, fish sauce, and lime or lemon juice in a bowl, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the garlic, chile, and shallot if using, and let stand for 30 minutes before serving.
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