Sweet pork is served alongside other dishes as condiment; In the following recipe I marinate the pork for couple of days in light soy sauce before I steam it in one piece to preserve the meat moist and tender texture. Only then, when cooked, I cut the meat into thin bite size pieces and simmer them in thick fragrant palm sugar caramel. Even though it looks simple, the opposite flavors offer a world of depth and turn to be a great match, as a side dish or with an handful of warm sticky rice.
Ajat is extremely simple yet elegant, and when you include it side to deep-fry or oily dishes, it is a knockout. Ajat is commonly served alongside Satay, Murtabak, Fish cakes and other deep fried snacks. Its sweet and sour syrup helps to mellow down the oily richness. You can prepare the syrup ahead of time and assemble it just before serving.
Mixing finely chopped fresh chilies including their seeds with fish sauce and a splash of lime juice makes the staple sauce accompanying almost every Thai dish. Restaurants reserve it an honor place on the table, next to the tissue paper and the tooth picks. The debate is on. Some call it “phrik naam bplaa” other will insist on “naam bplaa phrik“. Whatever it’s called, every Thai will admit that some foods just do not taste right without it. It is unimaginable having hot and crispy Thai omelette over rice without it. So, make a batch of it. It will keep for a few weeks in the fridge and will bring you closer to Thailand as it does to the millions of Thais abroad every day.