Nam jim dressing

Nam jim dressing

By
From
Have You Eaten
Makes
60 g
Photographer
Billy Law

Nam jim dressing is all about the balance of hot, sour, salty and sweet; these four flavours should complement each other without one overpowering the other. There is an old wives’ tale that says that if a girl can make a good nam jim dressing, then she will make a very good wife. I’m not sure if my nam jim dressing meets those standards, but it sure is a damn good one!

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
3 bird’s eye chillies, finely chopped, (see note)
2 small french shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon thinly sliced coriander roots
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons grated palm sugar

Method

  1. Using a mortar and pestle, gently pound the chillies, shallots, garlic and coriander roots to bruise them, without turning them into a paste. Scrape the mixture into a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the palm sugar, fish sauce and lime juice, and stir well until the sugar has dissolved. Taste the dressing and adjust accordingly — it should have a good balance of the key elements of hot, sour, salty and sweet. Store the dressing in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, but it’s best to make this fresh when needed.

Note

  • If you want a less spicy dressing, substitute the bird’s eye chillies with 1 large red chilli, seeded.
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