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Siamese Chili Relishes – The Professional Chef’s Guide – น้ำพริก และ เครื่องจิ้ม

At the intersection of culinary culture and traditional lifestyles are Siamese chili relishes – probably the oldest type of Siamese food. In ancient times, relishes were essential to the diet, providing a flavorful accompaniment to rice, the staple food. Then – and today – relishes also are served alongside meats or vegetables, producing a tasty meal as well as promoting healthy nutrition. Chili relishes are an expression of ancestral Siamese culinary emotions, and the foundations of modern Thai cuisine.

In this complete companion to chili relishes, we embark on a journey to discover the origins, classifications and regional varieties of chili relishes. Along the way, we will learn about their ingredients, food pairing rules, and essential and practical preparation techniques.

This comprehensive Masterclass covers everything you need to know about preparing chili relishes creatively and authentically.

haaw mohk and ngohp

Haaw Mohk and Ngohp (ห่อหมก และ งบ)

Printable recipes

This Masterclass covers grilled ngohp dishes and coconut-based steamed curried haaw mohk dishes, both ancient and modern, as well as other banana leaf-wrapped regional dishes. When you complete this Masterclass, you will be proficient in cooking creamy – yet light and airy – steamed, savory curried cakes that reflect the country’s regional variations.

papaya salad ข้าวมันส้มตำ

Khaao man sohm dtam and the first-ever recorded recipe for papaya salad (ข้าวมันส้มตำ)

Printable recipes

History’s first-ever recorded recipe for papaya salad is recreated in this Masterclass, along with all the other dishes that were part of the old-fashioned samrub (set meal) called khaao man sohm dtam (ข้าวมันส้มตำ). This Masterclass describes the evolution of the dish and revives the first-ever documented recipe for khaao man sohm dtam, dated 1935, to its finest details, restoring its former glory.

ข้าวปลี khaao bplee

c1935 Char-grilled banana blossom stuffed and baked with tamarind relish fried rice (ข้าวปลี ตำรับสายเยาวภา พ.ศ. 2478 ; khaao bplee)

Printable recipe

Princess Yaovabha Bongsanid’s delicious khaao bplee is a dish of stuffed banana blossom with sour, salty, sweet, and fragrant jasmine fried rice. The rice is fried with tamarind relish, semi-salted fish, amaranth leaves, eggplants and carrots; it is then stuffed into a smoky charred-grilled banana blossom, and baked.
This dish uses certain ingredients, such as milk and spinach, that are not usually associated with Siamese cuisine. Why did Princess Yaovabha Bongsanid use these ingredients, and how does this dish fit the Siamese taste awareness and the aristocracy’s culinary view regarding their own diet? Follow this masterclass to learn more!

Gaawy goong suay (ก้อยกุ้งเสวย กับ น้ำพริกก้อย)

Gaawy goong suay (ก้อยกุ้งเสวย กับ น้ำพริกก้อย) – Old-fashioned chili relish enriched with shrimp tomalley and flaky acid-cooked shrimp meat

Printable recipe

Gaawy goong suay is a rich, mildly spicy, sour-salty, and slightly sweet chili relish enriched with peanuts and charged with the flavor and metaphysical properties of the shrimp. It is eaten with acid-cured shrimp meat flakes and egg threads; tossed with cooked pork skin, firm pork fat, aromatics and herbs; and served alongside vegetables.

This dish showcases the early Siamese cooking style rooted in Ayutthaya, and the flavors once celebrated only within the boundaries of the palace walls. At one time this dish was a favorite among the aristocracy – so beloved that King Rama II dedicated an entire verse to it in his famous Boat Poem. However, in subsequent years, this chili relish fell out of vogue and was almost forgotten.


bplaa naaem (ปลาแนม) – A Siamese aristocratic small plate snack

Printable recipes

Bplaa naaem (ปลาแนม) is an aristocratic small plate of grilled fish, roasted rice and roasted grated coconut with bitter orange zest and a three sours seasoning sauce – an evocative dish that brings to life the vivid flavors and atmosphere of a classic snack break for the Siamese aristocracy. It’s a meticulously prepared dish that deploys a variety of ingredients. The best way to describe bplaa naaem is with a culinary cliché: it melts in your mouth.

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