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Thai Relishes, Nam Phrik & Lon Recipes

Goong Saawn Glin - A Thai Royal Appetizer of Flaky Acid-Cooked Shrimp, Peanuts and Pickled Garlic, with a Sour-Salty-Sweet Shrimp Tomalley Dressing. (กุ้งซ่อนกลิ่น)
Traditional Recipes

Goong Saawn Glin – A Thai Royal Appetizer of Flaky Acid-Cooked Shrimp, Peanuts and Pickled Garlic, with a Sour-Salty-Sweet Shrimp Tomalley Dressing. (กุ้งซ่อนกลิ่น)

กุ้งแนม” หรือ “กุ้งซ่อนกลิ่น – Goong naaem (goong saawn glin) according to the 1908 recipe in Lady Plean Passakornrawong’s “Maae Khruaa Huaa Bpaa (ตำราแม่ครัวหัวป่าก์)” cookbook. Flaky acid-cooked shrimp and the pork fat, along with thinly sliced roasted peanuts and very small unpeeled diced bitter orange (ส้มซ่า som saa), plus paper-thin slices of pickled garlic and julienned fresh red long chili peppers are mixed and seasoned with shrimp tomalley dressing. It is served in wrapped squares, using iceberg lettuce and young thaawng laang leaves.

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Chili Relish with Pork, Shrimp and Fresh Peppercorns ; น้ำพริก พริกไทยสด
Traditional Recipes

Thai Chili Relish with Pork, Shrimp and Fresh Peppercorns (น้ำพริก พริกไทยสด ; naam phrik phrik thai soht)

Studded with small green peppercorns that burst with a mild peppery pungency, this relish is not as spicy as one might expect from a Thai chili relish – nor does the sour taste serve as a noticeable flavor pillar. Instead, a warmer and softer peppery bite, coupled with the aroma of young pepper, delivers a complex kick. The peppercorns, together with the flavorful yellow chilies, wrap the pork’s natural umami and fatty characters and enhance its natural sweetness; this sweetness, despite being placed far in the back and only appearing at the end of each bite, is nicely layered by the use of shrimp meat and palm sugar.

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Relish of Fermented Fish, Grilled Catfish, Pork and Shrimp ; ปลาร้าสับทรงเครื่องสูตรสายเยาวภา
Traditional Recipes

Thai Relish of Fermented Fish, Grilled Catfish, Pork and Shrimp (ปลาร้าผัดทรงเครื่องสูตรสายเยาวภา ; bplaa raa phat sohng khreuuang, suut saai yao wa phaa)

Fish fermentation consists of a simple salt-curing process: mixing or coating a whole fish, sliced fish or minced fish meat with salt and rice husks (or ground roasted rice). The mixture is then allowed to rest and ferment for few months. This fermentation process creates deep, intense umami flavor agents accompanied by a strong stench. It is only with culinary sagacity and skill that cooks are able to harness and direct these powerful flavors within the context of an appetizing dish, and to constrain the odor to an agreeable intensity.

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ต้มข่าเป็ดแบบโบราณ ; An ancient Siamese recipe of Tom Kha Bpet (duck)
Traditional Recipes

An Ancient Siamese Recipe for Tom Kha Pet (1890 AD) Duck Simmered in Light Coconut Cream and Young Galangal, and Served with Sour-Sweet Roasted Chili Jam
(Tom Kha Bpet; ต้มข่าเป็ด จิ้มน้ำพริกเผาแบบโบราณ)

Tom kha is a well-known and much-loved Thai soup: a creamy, soothing coconut blend, a warm, silky broth in which chicken, mainly, is simmered with young galangal, mushrooms, and, at times, charred-grilled banana blossoms. In other versions, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves are added, blurring the boundaries between tom kha and the coconut-based tom yam soup (tom yum kati; ต้มยำกะทิ).

However, in the late 19th century, tom kha was not a soup at all: it was a dish of chicken or duck simmered in a light coconut broth with a generous amount of galangal. The coconut broth added sweetness to the meat, and the galangal helped to mellow the meat odor. It was then served with a basic roasted chili jam as a dipping relish seasoned along the salty-sour-sweet spectrum.

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น้ำพริกลงเรือต้นตำรับ ; Naam phrik lohng reuua
Thai Relishes, Nam Phrik & Lon Recipes

Naam Phrik Lohng Reuua (Boat Embarking Chili Relish), Relish of Fermented Shrimp Paste Sauce with Sweet Pork Condiment and Crispy Deep-Fried Fluffy Fish – (น้ำพริกลงเรือต้นตำรับ ; naam phrik lohng reuua)

Naam phrik lohng reuua (น้ำพริกลงเรือ) – Literally translated as “boat embarking chili relish”, this particular boat seems to have drifted a long way from port and these days, the actual dish served in Thai restaurants is far away from the original version. We want to tell you the real story behind this dish and to present you with the original version’s recipe in its true character – as if the boat is still moored at the dock.

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