This lohn recipe is made using fresh river prawns. The recipe was altered by Lady Plean Passakornrawong (ท่านผู้หญิงเปลี่ยน ภาสกรวงศ์) to provide an alternative to lohn recipes that used pla ra-like fermented shrimp products called กุ้งเจ่า (goong jao) and กุ้งจ่อม (goong jaawm).
The typical seasoning ingredients, tamarind paste and palm sugar, tend to tint the relish a brownish-creamy color. Here, it appears that the seasoning deploys non-color-altering materials, a decision that affects the flavor as much as the color of the relish, as if the white tones of the coconut cream were intended to be preserved as much as possible to allow the shrimp’s white-orange hue to shine through.
Thus, for sourness, sour madan fruits or fresh tamarind pods are simmered in the coconut cream, and sweetness is introduced from fermented sweet rice (khao mak), which keeps the coconut cream a snowy white.
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- 1/3 cup river prawns (กุ้งนาง หรือ กุ้งก้ามกรามตัวเมีย) /or use both minced and whole prawns
- 1 tablespoon shrimp tomalley (มันกุ้ง)
- 1/2 tablespoon sweet fermented rice (khaao maak, ข้าวหมาก)
For the lohn
- 1 cup coconut cream (หัวกะทิ)
- 1/2 cup madan (sour cucumber, มะดัน)(garcinia schomburgkiana) whole fruits or/
- young tamarind pods (มะขามอ่อน)
- 1 tablespoon firm pork fat (มันหมูแข็ง) diced into small pieces
- 1/2 cup shallots (หอมแดง) thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup madan (sour cucumber, มะดัน)(garcinia schomburgkiana) thinly sliced
Season to sour-salty sweet with
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce (น้ำปลา)
- 2 tablespoons tamarind paste (น้ำมะขามเปียก)
- 2 tablespoons sweet fermented rice liquids (naam khaao maak, น้ำข้าวหมาก)
- 1 teaspoon palm sugar (น้ำตาลมะพร้าว)
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar (น้ำตาลทราย)
- salted thick coconut cream (หัวกะทิเข้มข้น)
- shallots (หอมแดง) thinly sliced
- madan (sour cucumber, มะดัน)(garcinia schomburgkiana) thinly sliced
- three colors of chilies – red, green, yellow and chilies (พริกสามสี) sliced thinly, crosswise
- fresh vegetables (ผักสด)
- grilled catfish (ปลาดุกย่าง)
- Peel and de-vein the shrimp; cut into small pieces. Wash and pat dry the sliced shrimp meat.
- Squeeze the shrimp tomalley from the heads; add it to the shrimp.
- Add fermented sweet rice (khao mak)
- On a cutting board, use a knife to mince the shrimp together with the tomalley and fermented sweet rice.
- Thicken coconut cream in a saucepan over medium-low heat, reserving a small amount for the garnish. Do not allow the cream to separate into fat.
- Add the sliced madan or young tamarind pods and continue to cook until their sourness is extracted. Dilute with a small amount of coconut milk, or water if the coconut thickens too much. Be careful and do not let the coconut cream separate into fat!
- Add the diced firm pork fat and shallots. Continue to simmer until the pork fat is cooked.
- Add the minced shrimp mixture. Stir well to prevent it from forming into chunks.
- When the shrimp are cooked, taste and season to a sour-salty-sweet profile using salt or fish sauce for saltiness, tamarind paste for sourness, and granulated sugar, palm sugar or sweet fermented rice liquids for sweetness.
- Turn off the heat and add another batch of fresh sliced madan.
- Pour into a serving bowl, and garnish with thinly sliced three colored chilies – red, green and yellow – along with sliced shallots and a drizzle of the thickened coconut cream.
- Fresh vegetables, grilled catfish or fried snakehead fish.