Lohn of salted duck eggs is a smooth, rich and creamy relish with a vibrant three-flavor profile of sour-salty-sweet. Unlike other lohn relishes, it does not contain any overbearing fermented ingredients, making it easy to enjoy, and it does not require an acquired taste.
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The relish is seasoned following the 1:1:1 ratio of tamarind paste, fish sauce and palm sugar. However, since the duck egg’s saltiness contributes to about half of the salty character of the dish, we reduce the amount of fish sauce by half. In practice, we use double the amount of tamarind paste and palm sugar than that of the fish sauce needed to achieve the ideal salty seasoning point.
The dish is prepared according to traditional lohn protocols, with the addition of a lavish amount of coriander leaves and some bruised fresh bird’s eye chilies at the end of the cooking process.
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- 1/3 cup minced shrimp meat (เนื้อกุ้งสับ)
- 2 hard-boiled salted duck egg (ไข่เค็ม)
For the lohn
- 1 cup coconut cream (หัวกะทิ) หัวกะทิ
- 1/2 cup shallots (หอมแดง) thinly sliced
Season to a bold sour-salty-sweet profile
- 1 part fish sauce (น้ำปลา)
- 2 part tamarind paste (น้ำมะขามเปียก)
- 2 part palm sugar (น้ำตาลมะพร้าว)
- sea salt (เกลือทะเล)
- 1/2 cup three colors of chilies – red, green, yellow and chilies (พริกสามสี) sliced thinly, crosswise
- 4 pieces fresh bird’s eye chili (kee noo suan) (พริกขี้หนูสวนสด) bruised
- 1/2 cup coriander leaves (ใบผักชี)
- coriander leaves (ใบผักชี)
- shallots (หอมแดง)
- three colors of chilies – red, green, yellow and chilies (พริกสามสี) sliced thinly, crosswise
- Peel and de-vein the shrimp and cut them into small pieces. Wash and pat dry the sliced shrimp meat.
- Squeeze the shrimp tomalley from the heads; add it to the shrimp.
- On a cutting board, use a knife to mince the shrimp together with the tomalley. Set aside.
- Split the hard-boiled salted duck eggs in half with a knife, then separate the yolks from the egg whites with a spoon. Cut the egg whites into small pieces and set aside.
- 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 egg yolks and egg whites and continue to cook until the yolks have dissolved into a yellowish creamy consistency. Stir constantly and be careful not to let the coconut cream separate into fat!
- Add the minced shrimp and the shallots and keep simmering until the shrimp meat is fully cooked.
- When the shrimp are cooked, taste and season to a sour-salty-sweet profile. Start by adding fish sauce; when you are satisfied with the saltiness, add double the amount of fish sauce in palm sugar and tamarind paste. Taste and adjust the flavors.
- Turn off the heat and mix in the coriander leaves and bruised bird’s eye chilies.
- 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.
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).
Similar preparations of fermented fish lohn were likely enjoyed throughout the Central Plains, both in higher and common vernacular cuisines.
c1933 Luxurious lohn relish (น้ำพริกหลนหรู อย่าง จีบ บุนนาค เจ้าของนามปากกา “หลานแม่ครัวหัวป่าก์” พ.ศ. 2476 ; naam phrik lohn ruu)
A simple yet fun version of lohn relish is presented by Lady Plean’s granddaughter-in-law, Mrs. Samaknantapol (Jeep Bunnag) (นางสมรรคนันทพล, จีบ บุนนาค), in her 1933 book Sam Rap Raawp Bpee (สำรับรอบปี).
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.
c1937 Shrimp and tomato curry (แกงกุ้งกับมะเขือเทศ คู่มือการครัว นางสาวฉลวย กันตวรรณี พ.ศ. 2480; gaaeng goong gap makheuua thaeht)
Stocked with a contemporary brew of umami-rich ingredients, this ancient, bright and slightly sour coconut-based shrimp and tomato curry demonstrates how simple – yet clever – flavor-layering techniques can spotlight the shrimp and the spectacular savory tomatoes over the curry background.