Going along with the nuoc mam theme, here is a simple but popular rice dish we had in Saigon, com tam. Com Tam is broken jasmine rice with a pork chop. It is usually eaten with pickled jicama and carrots, a dollop of scallion oil and a not so appetizing sounding pork skin salad -- don't let the name fool you, it's quite tasty. The small bowl on the right is the nuoc mam sauce that is spooned over the pork and rice.
Com Tam means "broken rice" but it is synonymous with this pork dish. The rice used really is broken - they are the grains of rice that have broken into tinier pieces through processing and transport. The pork's marinade is very sweet, so it works well with the saltiness of the nuoc mam although a fellow Australian diner disagreed. She asked the waitress for some soy sauce which made me cringe with anger and embarrassment. Sigh.