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A relish from chilies, dried shrimp, tamarind flesh, garlic and fermented shrimp paste (kapi), pounded, seasoned, and then fried in pork lard; then seasoned with palm sugar and fish sauce; and served with fresh vegetables, cucumber, white turmeric, and fingerroot.
This is a simple relish built on top of a standard fermented shrimp paste (kapi) chili relish, with simple additions for which all its additional ingredients can be obtained from around the home – as was common in Siam for so many centuries. The tamarind is a large tree and, as such, it was popular to plant it near the house in order to enjoy its shade and find refuge from the scorching sun. The tree also provides a year-round supply of ingredients that are essential to Siamese cuisine – its young leaves, flowers, and pods.
This relish can be served as is or used to season rice dishes.
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- 2 parts dried red long chili (phrik chee fa) (พริกชี้ฟ้าแห้ง) Deseeded and rehydrated
- 1 part fermented shrimp paste (kapi)(กะปิย่างไฟ) grilled
- 1 part Thai garlic (กระเทียมไทย)
- 3/4 parts tamarind flesh (เนื้อมะขามเปียก)
- 3/4 parts dried shrimp pounded to powder (กุ้งแห้งป่น)
- 3/4 parts pork fat cracklings (กากหมู)
- 1/2 part madan (sour cucumber, มะดัน)(garcinia schomburgkiana) optional
- fish sauce (น้ำปลา) as needed
- 1 part palm sugar (น้ำตาลมะพร้าว)
- pork lard (น้ำมันหมู) for frying
- lime juice (น้ำมะนาว)
- An overview of the relish ingredients
- Separate the tamarind flesh, removing the seeds and discarding the fibrous threads.
- On a cutting board, mince the tamarind flesh using a knife. You may need to oil the knife if the tamarind sticks to it.
- Deseed and rehydrate the dried chilies in hot water.
- In a mortar and pestle, pound the rehydrated chilies with salt to a smooth paste.
- Add the Thai garlic and the grilled fermented shrimp paste (kapi) and keep pounding until both ingredients lose their distinctive odor.
- Add dried shrimp powder.
- Add the tamarind flesh and pound to make a smooth paste.
- Add the chili paste and pound to mix all the ingredients together. Season the relish to a sour-salty-sweet with fish sauce, and palm sugar. Start by seasoning the salty element first, using fish sauce.
- Add palm sugar at the ratios indicated.
- Add pork fat cracklings and crush them into small pieces.
- Optional: add sliced hairy-fruited eggplant (มะอึก) or madan fruit and bruise it. Alternatively, you can substitute carambola (star fruit) for the madan fruit or omit it altogether.
- Once you are satisfied with the relish seasoning fry it in pork lard.
- Serve with: fried semi-salted and sun-dried fish. Leaves and flowers fried in batter. Fresh vegetables such as cucumber, white turmeric, and fingerroot, or as part as khaao man sohm dtam (ข้าวมันส้มตำ)
Rice Seasoned with Young Tamarind Relish, Sweetened Fish and Pickled Morning Glory (ข้าวคลุกน้ำพริกมะขามอ่อน ผักบุ้งดอง ปลาแห้งผัดหวาน และ ปลาดุกย่าง; Khaao Khlook Naam Phrik Makhaam Aawn Phakboong Daawng Bplaa Haaeng Phat Waan Lae Bplaa Dook Yaang)
Seasoned rice dishes have been a staple of rice-consuming societies almost since the first grains were cultivated. Adapted according to local resources, traditions and individual preferences, seasoned rice dishes are relished and savored across all walks of life. Within Siamese society, these dishes offer insight into the flavor instincts and eating habits across all demographics, revealing which food items were locally available and valued.
In this delicious seasoned rice recipe from the kitchens of the daughter of King Chulalongkorn, Princess Yaovabha Bongsanid (พระเจ้าบรมวงศ์เธอ พระองค์เจ้าเยาวภาพงศ์สนิท) (1884-1934), the Princess uses a variety of common preserved and inexpensive ingredients, clearly drawing inspiration from the cuisine of the Central Plains with nods to the rural and coastal living atmosphere.
Metropolitan Chili Relish: The 20-Ingredient Pinnacle of Thai Relishes (น้ำพริกนครบาล; Naam Phrik Na Khaawn Baan)
Originating in the early 1800s, Metropolitan Chili Relish is cheerful and complex, yet unassuming – a subtly epic relish composed of more than 20 ingredients, some of which are seasonal. The relative absence of this relish from contemporary menus could be attributed to its difficult-to-assemble ingredient list, coupled with a dwindling number of chefs who are adept at its preparation.
However, despite its intricate composition, the relish adheres to the same foundational culinary principles of other shrimp paste (kapi) chili relishes. Here, though, the savoriness is strengthened with smoke-dried fish, grilled shrimp and pork fat crackling; and the relish is seasoned to a citrus-infused, fruity, sour-sweet leading and salty to follow flavor profile, to which numerous sour and sour-sweet elements are mixed in – akin to a deep-rooted tree extending its branches to bear colorful fruits that shine in varying shades of a tartness.
Naam Phrik Lohng Reuua (Boat Embarking Chili Relish), Relish of Fermented Shrimp Paste Relsih with Sweet Pork 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.
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.
Fried fermented shrimp paste relish with green apples by Princess Jongjittanom Dissakul (น้ำพริกลูกแอปเปิ้ลผัด อย่าง หม่อมเจ้าหญิงจงจิตรถนอม ดิศกุล ; naam phrik luuk aaep bpeern phat)
A century ago, modernity and western ideas were permeating Siamese society across all aspects of life. In addition to the Siamese becoming more familiar with […]