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 and adopting western dishes, Siamese cooks were exposed to a wide range of imported western ingredients that they deployed to produce old-fashioned Siamese dishes with contemporary accents. This relish is a vibrant example of this tasty and delightful cultural blend.
Green apple relish demonstrates that the classic chili relishes can be extended to incorporate any type of sour or sour-sweet fruits while remaining faithful to authentic Siamese flavors, even when using imported ingredients. This recipe is listed in Favorite Dishes, a book by Princess Jongjittanom Dissakul (อาหารของโปรด ของหม่อมเจ้าจงจิตรถนอม ดิศกุล). The Princess was familiar with higher Siamese cuisine during the reign of King Rama V and VI and was renowned for her chili relish-making skills.
Pork lard is often utilized to fry the chili relish, preserving it for extended use. When frying the relish, pork fat cracklings are frequently added to give the relish texture and richness. This is an example of a chili relish that is based on the basic chili relish recipe, fried in pork lard, and uses an ingredient not commonly associated with Siamese cuisine – sour green apples.
For this relish, Princess Dissakul prepares a basic chili relish. She adds peeled sour green apple as a souring agent, along with other sour ingredients such as hairy-fruited eggplant (มะอึก) and green mandarin orange (ส้มเหม็น). When the relish is completed, she fries it in pork lard and adds pork fat cracklings, resulting in a light, fruity and tangy chili relish.
It is also possible to fry the relish in aromatic pork lard left over from frying crispy garlic, and garnish with crispy garlic.
Substitute the green apple with
- Green mango, for a fried mango chili relish (น้ำพริกมะม่วงผัด; naam phrik mamuaang phat).
- Madan for a fried madan chili relish (น้ำพริกมะดันผัด; naam phrik madan phat).
- Santol for a fried santol chili relish (น้ำพริกกระท้อนผัด; naam phrik grathaawn phat).
- Fresh vegetables,
- Fried steamed mackerel,
- Grilled catfish,
- Sweet pork.
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- 1/2 cup green apple (แอปเปิ้ลเขียว) diced into small pieces
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Thai garlic (กระเทียมไทย)
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (เกลือทะเล)
- 1/2 tablespoon dried shrimp pounded to powder (กุ้งแห้งป่น)
- 1 tablespoon fresh red long chili (phrik chee fa) (พริกชี้ฟ้าแดง)
- 4 pieces fresh bird’s eye chili (kee noo suan) (พริกขี้หนูสวนสด)
- hairy-fruited eggplant (maeuk) (มะอึก) diced into small pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce (น้ำปลา)
- 1 3/4 tablespoons palm sugar (น้ำตาลมะพร้าว)
- 1 tablespoons lime juice (น้ำมะนาว)
- 1 tablespoon green mandarin orange juice (น้ำส้มเหม็น) optional /or
- bitter orange juice (som.saa)(น้ำส้มซ่า)
- 1 tablespoon pork fat cracklings (กากหมู)
- pork lard (น้ำมันหมู) for frying
- Peel the green apple and dice it into small cubes. Set aside.
- Measure the amount of fermented shrimp paste (kapi), garlic and palm sugar following the ratios of a chili relish recipe (น้ำพริกกะปิมาตรฐาน). Arrange the ingredients next to each other so you can visualize their proportions.
- Begin preparing the relish in a mortar and pestle the same way you would a basic chili relish – start by pounding the garlic with the kapi and add dried shrimp powder.
- Add the green apples. Using the pestle, mash them into a rough paste.
- Taste and season with salt and fish sauce. Once you are satisfied with the saltiness of the relish, add palm sugar at the ratio indicated. Season to a sweet-salty flavor profile.
- Season to a sour leading flavor profile using lime juice.
- Add the fresh chilies. Bruise them using the pestle to release the desired spiciness.
- Mix in all the sour and sour sweet ingredients: hairy-fruited eggplant (มะอึก) and diced green mandarin orange (ส้มเหม็น).
- Once you are satisfied with the relish seasoning, add pork fat cracklings, and fry the relish in pork lard.