So this will be my first Thai recipe on here! I was craving something reaaaaaaaal SPICY and this usually does the trick. I think it’s pretty easy to make but it may take some time for you to make cause there are some veggies involved and that includes washing and slicing/dicing and smashing all of it.
This is a classic Thai condiment/dipping sauce. You can modify the ingredients to make it as spicy/sour/salty as you’d like. This recipe calls for fish but you can even make it without fish if you’d like. I will warn you now…if you have a sensitive nose you will probably be sneezing while making this sauce. It requires you to roast or saute some hot peppers and that spicy aroma can be overwhelming. I’m still not used to it and I grew up smelling it all of the time! So prepare to sneeze a few times!
I always have this sauce with a few different kinds of veggies, jasmine rice and sometimes chicken (make it easy and buy a rotisserie chicken!) or beef. Here are some vegetables that I saute or even eat raw with the sauce:
- sliced cucumbers (raw)
- green beans (sauteed)
- thai long green beans (raw or sauteed)
- thai eggplant (raw or boiled)
- bok choy (sauteed)
- asparagus (sauteed)
- chinese cabbage (sauteed)
- chinese broccoli (sauteed)
- mushrooms (sauteed)
First you are going to want to gather these ingredients and tools…
- red and green thai chili peppers
- fish sauce
- shrimp paste (optional, i didn’t use any this time)
- roasted/baked fish (i used salmon for this but you could use tilapia or whatever fish you’d like.)
- mortar and pestle or a blender
I used about 20 chili peppers (like I said earlier, I was craving something really spicy! don’t use this much unless you can handle the spice!), 2 jalapenos, 2 shallots cut up into smaller pieces, a few cloves of garlic, one and a half limes, about a table spoon on sugar, couple dashes of salt and I’d say roughly around 3 or 4 tablespoons of fish sauce. Play around with the amount of peppers and the other ingredients, there’s really no wrong way to make this…you can start off small and add more of each ingredient until it tastes the way you like it. I like to have all of the flavors balanced, but some people like it extra sour (more lime), extra sweet (more sugar), or extra salty (extra fish sauce or salt). Once I washed everything I drizzled a little olive oil in a pan and threw everything in and sauteed it until everything was browned really well. While that was on the stove, I threw a tiny piece of salmon in the oven and baked it.
After everything is cooked, you want to put everything into a mortar and use a pestle to smash everything till it is pasty. Or blend everything together in a blender…yes, I realize most of you non-Asian folk are without a mortar and pestle and you’re certainly not going to go out and buy one just to make a pepper sauce that’s going to make your next bowel movement hot and uncomfortable.
Then you can add the fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and salt. Mix it all up and give it a taste (dip a cucumber in it!). I won’t lie…this sauce does NOT look appetizing and it may be a turn off for some people because we all “eat with our eyes” first before actually consuming something…BUT I promise you, it is jam packed with flavor and spice. It will most likely wake you up, clear your sinuses, make your tongue burn and make you sweat like a pig. Luckily…I love all of those things 😉 but mostly I love the flavor!
After that you’ll want to saute some veggies! I LOVE garlic so I always add it to whatever I can. So, I sauteed some green beans, bok choy and asparagus with some garlic and olive oil. I boiled a couple of Thai eggplants and also cut up some cucumbers to munch on. The cucumbers will help cool your mouth when its on fire! After everything was finished, I sat down with a bowl of rice, some chicken and a platter of veggies and added small amounts of the sauce for every few bites.
You will find that these Thai recipes that I post wont have exact measurements because I eyeball everything. That’s how my mother and my grandmother cooked and now that’s how I cook! Hopefully this turns out okay for you and hopefully it’s not too spicy but if is I would like to apologize in advance for your burning asshole.