This dish brings yet another angle to celebrate the essence of Thai cuisine. The Thais dare to pair ingredients, which at first seem to be unmatchable, strong players with opposite characteristics, white turmeric and salted prawns, and guess what? It works beautifully!
The pairing actually has the intention to enhance the differences in flavor and texture, creating a playful dish, both in taste and in presentation. The delicate thin-cut white turmeric juliennes with its crunchy-apple-like texture matched well with the just made salted prawns chunks which still maintain some of their intrinsic sweetness.
It’s a pleasant and aromatic dish flavored with fish sauce and lime juice. The use of palm sugar and shallots adds just a touch of sweetness to the dish rounding it nicely and making it a refreshing experience. Oh, and yes, please be careful of those red spots, these are not tomatoes.
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- 5 pieces tiger prawn (กุ้งกุลาดำ) head-on, shell-on, tail intact
- 50 g minced pork meat (เนื้อหมูบด)
- ⅓ cup white turmeric (ขมิ้นขาว) cut into thin juliennes
- 3 tablespoon shallots (หอมแดง)
- 2 stalks lemongrass (ตะไคร้)
- 3 cups water (น้ำเปล่า)
- 4 ½ tablespoon sea salt (เกลือทะเล)
for the dressing:
- 2 cloves Thai garlic (กระเทียมไทย) or 1/2 clove garlic
- ½ teaspoon palm sugar (น้ำตาลมะพร้าว)
- 5 pieces fresh bird’s eye chili (kee noo suan) (พริกขี้หนูสวนสด)
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce (น้ำปลา)
- 1 tablespoon lime juice (น้ำมะนาว)
making salted prawns
- Bruise the lemongrass stalk to allow it release its aroma.
- prepare the brine: to a pot, add the lemongrass, salt and water, in a ratio of 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt for each cup of water.
- bring the brine to a boil.
- add the prawns, turn off the heat and leave the prawns in the brine until the brine has cooled to room temperature.
- peel the prawns and cut into bite-size pieces.
- slice white turmeric into thin juliennes, and thinly slice the shallots.
- in boiling water, cook the minced pork strain and set aside.
making the salad dressing
- in a pestle and mortar crush the Thai garlic, unpeeled.
- add bird's eye chilies and palm sugar and crush the chili. the finer you work the chilies the hotter the dish will be.
- add fish sauce
- add lime juice. mix and set aside.