2 tablespoons fish sauce , alternatively use only salt or some salt and some fish sauce if you don’t like the fishy sauce flavor – some Thais prefer using only salt in their seafood sauce.
½ teaspoon of salt for pounding the chilies and garlic
1 tablespoon table sugar or palm sugar – or you can use much less like I prefer
Add the bird chilies and peeled cloves of garlic into a mortar and pestle. Toss in ½ teaspoon of salt, and start pounding until coarse, making sure all the oils are released (should take 5 – 10 mins). Alternatively, blend or use a food processor or even just mince if you need to, but grinding by hand is the best method.
Add the crushed chilies and garlic to a bowl, then add the lime juice, water, fish sauce (or salt), and sugar, and mix thoroughly.
Start adding the ingredients especially the fish sauce and sugar gradually, and taste test and add more as needed.