Naaw go:h, a Shan-style seasonal salad, is a dish commonly made by the Shan people during the rainy season, using freshly foraged ingredients. Consisting of shredded, cooked bamboo shoots and herbs with a glossy, earthy-like dressing, the salad reflects the moist soil from which the bamboo sprouts after the rains. The use of whole, elongated Vietnamese coriander leaves and sliced, angular young ginger leaves visually mirrors the structure of the bamboo plant.
The dressing for this salad is prepared by frying a paste in pork lard or cooking oil; the paste includes roasted dried bird’s eye chilis, roasted garlic, powdered soybean cake and salt and, occasionally, roasted shallots or a small piece of fresh turmeric are incorporated. This mixture bestows a harmonious blend of salty-spicy, rich, and nutty undertones upon the salad, complemented by a subtle yeasty essence.
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For the paste
- 5 dried Thai bird’s eye chili (phrik kee noo) (พริกขี้หนูแห้ง) roasted
- 5 cloves Thai garlic (กระเทียมไทย) roasted
- 1/4 teaspoon rock salt (เกลือสินเธาว์)
- 1 tablespoon fermented soy bean cake (tua nao)(ถั่วเน่า) grilled and pounded to powder
- Remove the outer layer from the bamboo shoots.
- Shred the bamboo shoots using a knife.
- Place the shredded bamboo shoots in a pot of boiling water with salt. While boiling, taste occasionally to check for bitterness. To reduce bitterness, change the water until the bamboo shoots are cooked and the bitterness is tamed.
- Once boiled, measure out the shredded bamboo shoots.
- Cut the young ginger leaves at a 45-degree angle into thin slices.
- Set aside hand-picked whole Vietnamese coriander leaves.
Prepare the Paste:
- Roast dried Thai bird’s eye chilis and garlic cloves.
- In a mortar: Add the roasted chilis and salt.
- Add the roasted garlic.
- Add fermented soybean cake powder (or one disk).
- Pound the mixture until it forms a smooth paste.
Fry the Paste:
- Heat pork lard or cooking oil in a pan.
- Add the seasoning paste.
- Fry the paste until it is fragrant.