Thai Northern Style Pork and Tomato Chili Relish (nam phrik aawng ; nam prik ong ; น้ำพริกอ่อง)

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By: Hanuman

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nam prik ong ; น้ำพริกอ่อง

A dish, like a smell or a color can be so evocative in their place or time. This dish always takes me back to the food stalls of Chiang Mai with its vivid color and tartly savor.

In this fast moving world, it is good sometime to pause for a moment, and to have a dish that emphasis relaxation, and allows you to enjoy a feast of textures and colors, because it is never eaten alone. It is served with a rich plate of accompanying vegetables pleasantly arranged, and with a group of good friends; all sharing the centrally placed bowl of the shiny red relish.

nam phrik ong chili relish traces its origins to the “Tai Yai” minority (ไทยใหญ่ Shan people) and is traditionally made with a local variety of grape tomatoes ( บะเขือส้ม; ba kheuua sohm) and fermented soybeans cakes (Tua Nao ; ถั่วเน่า). The local tomatoes variety is especially sour and juicy but you can safely substitute them with cherry tomatoes and skip the Tua Nao if not available.

Thai Northern Style Pork and Tomato Relish (nam phrik aawng ; nam prik ong ; น้ำพริกอ่อง)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Ready In
 
This dish traces its origins to the “Tai Yai” minority (ไทยใหญ่ Shan people) and is traditionally made with a local variety of grape tomatoes ( บะเขือส้ม; ba kheuua sohm) and fermented soybeans cakes (Tua Nao ; ถั่วเน่า).
By:
Recipe type: Relish
Cuisine: Thai
Serves: 6

Ingredients

 
  • 500 gr minced pork
  • 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved and bruised.
  • 1/2 cup neutral taste oil
  • 2 medium size cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Chili Paste Ingredients
  • 10 dried chilies
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 round sheet Tua Nao
  • 1 stalk lemongrass (about 1/4 cup)
  • 12 medium size cloves garlic (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup diced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon fremented shrimp paste (gabpi)
Method
  1. Start preparing the chili paste by pounding in a mortar and pestle the dry chilies with the salt as abrasive. Pound it very fine.
    nam prik ong ; น้ำพริกอ่อง
  2. On an open flame lightly roast the Tua Nao until fragrant.
    nam prik ong ; น้ำพริกอ่อง
  3. Add roasted Tua Nao to the mortar and pound it fine.
    nam prik ong ; น้ำพริกอ่อง
    nam prik ong ; น้ำพริกอ่อง
  4. Add chopped lemongrass to the mortar and keep pounding until the lemongrass is well incorporated.
    nam prik ong ; น้ำพริกอ่อง
  5. Add shallots, garlic, and pound together until you get a smooth and homogeneous paste.
    nam prik ong ; น้ำพริกอ่อง
  6. Add fermented shrimp paste and mix well. Set aside.
    nam prik ong ; น้ำพริกอ่อง
  7. In a mortar and pestle pound the chili paste, minced pork and tomatoes until the chili paste is well incorporated into the pork.
    nam prik ong ; น้ำพริกอ่อง
    nam prik ong ; น้ำพริกอ่อง
  8. Set a wide frying pan with the oil on a medium heat and lightly fry the garlic until light golden.
    nam prik ong ; น้ำพริกอ่อง
  9. Add the chili paste, tomatoes and pork mixture and fry while constantly mixing until the pork is done. The pork will release its juices into the pan, keep frying until all the pork liquids evaporates and you can hear again the sizzling frying sounds.
    nam prik ong ; น้ำพริกอ่อง
    nam prik ong ; น้ำพริกอ่อง
  10. In a mortar and pestle roughly bruise the remaining tomatoes to release their juices.
    nam prik ong ; น้ำพริกอ่อง
  11. Add the tomatoes to the frying pan and keep frying on a medium low heat until the tomatoes soften and releases most of their juices.
    nam prik ong ; น้ำพริกอ่อง
    nam prik ong ; น้ำพริกอ่อง
  12. Season flavors with salt and sugar and add bit of water if too dry.
    nam prik ong ; น้ำพริกอ่อง
  13. Serve with an assortment of fresh seasonal vegetables.
    nam prik ong ; น้ำพริกอ่อง