Making fermented shrimp paste chili relish (naam phrik kapi)
In a pestle and mortar, pound fermented shrimp paste (grilled in banana leaves) with garlic until you get a smooth consistency.
Season with palm sugar and fish sauce.
Squeeze lime juice.
Add green bird’s eye chilies and bruise them lightly.
OPTIONAL: Add maeuk
Mix these ingredients together.
The fermented shrimp paste chili sauce is ready, set aside.
Making Sweet Pork
Steam the pork belly until it is soft; add a pandan leaf to infuse a pleasant scent into the meat.
Thinly slice the pork meat into uniformly sized, elongated slices.
Place the palm sugar in a wok over low heat and stir constantly; the sugar will melt and begin to caramelize.
When the sugar has caramelized and turned a deep amber color, add water and fish sauce.
Let the sugar dissolve in the liquids, and then add the sliced cooked pork belly.
Cook the pork, stirring constantly, until the liquids reduce and the pork acquires a transparent brown shine.
Set the sweet pork aside.
Making fluffy crispy fish:
Charcoal grill a whole catfish over low heat until dry.
Remove the meat from the fish; discard the skin and bones.
With a heavy knife, finely mince the catfish meat. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
In a wide wok, heat oil for deep frying.
Drop about a half-cup of minced fish meat at a time.
Allow the fish to fry until it has formed into the shape of a floating raft.
Flip it over, and fry the other side until it is golden and crispy.
Drain and set aside.
Assembling the dish
Mix fermented shrimp paste chili relish and sweet pork.
Fry garlic in pork fat until it is fragrant - do not wait until it becomes gold-colored.
Add the chili relish and sweet pork mix; continue frying and adjust flavors to taste.
Roll raw salted duck egg yolks into small balls, set aside.
How to serve
Mix some of the fluffy fish with the fried chili sauce, place it in a serving dish, and sprinkle with crispy fish, as well as yolk balls, pickled garlic cloves and bird’s eye chili peppers. Serve with fresh vegetables.