Chilli sauce with shrimp paste

Chilli sauce with shrimp paste

Nam phrik kapi (Central)

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South East Asian Food

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
10 medium-sized garlic cloves, sliced
1 tablespoon shrimp paste, wrapped in foil and either roasted in a dry pan or cooked in a microwave for 1 minute
15 pea eggplant, (optional)
10 bird’s eye chillies
2 limes, juiced
1 tablespoon palm sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce

Method

  1. In a stone mortar smash and pound the garlic and shrimp paste into a fine paste. Add the pea eggplant, if available, and with a few strokes of the pestle simply break them and bruise them then mix everything together. Add the whole chillies, the lime juice, sugar and fish sauce, breaking and bruising the chillies in the same way and mixing lightly again. (Be careful not to completely break up the chillies or eggplant. Both should remain bruised but intact.) Adjust seasonings to taste – the nam phrik should be more sour than sweet or salty.
  2. In central Thailand a particular eggplant known as ma-uk – the size of a golf-ball, orange in colour and hairy – is used to ensure the sourness. The hairs are scraped off first and the fruit sliced and put into the mortar at the same time as the pea eggplant. Without the ma-uk the amount of lime juice may require adjustment upwards.
  3. Nam phrik kapi is served in a bowl accompanied by very small fried fish and vegetables prepared in any one of the following ways. To eat, put a spoonful of vegetable on to the rice on your plate, top with a spoonful of fish, drizzling a little nam phrik over everything.

Raw vegetables

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 green golf-ball eggplant, cut through about three-quarter way down, turned 90 degrees and cut again
3-4 small lebanese cucumbers, quartered lengthwise and cut into 5 cm pieces
6-8 winged beans, cut into 2.5 cm pieces
or 10 stringless green beans, topped and tailed
a wedge raw cabbage, 3 cm wide

Method

  1. Wash and arrange the vegetables in separate piles on a serving plate with the fish and serve the nam phrik in a bowl alongside.

Steamed vegetables

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 cup young jackfruit, cubed
or 8-10 spears young asparagus
1 cup very young pumpkin leaf and stalk or young snowpea shoots or young spinach leaves
1/2 cup purple cigar-shaped eggplant, cut into large cubes with skin
or 1/2 cup other vegetables
1/2-1 cup fresh thick coconut milk

Method

  1. Lightly steam the vegetables separately and pour the coconut milk over them. Serve as for the raw vegetables with fish and Nam phrik kapi.

Fried vegetables

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

  1. Beat 2 eggs. Peel some long green eggplant (aubergine) or purple cigar eggplant (aubergine) and cut them into thin slices 5 cm long (or you could use slices of large purple eggplant, pumpkin, zucchini (courgette) or any other vegetables. Put them into the egg mixture. Heat 1 cup of oil in a wok until hot. Pick up each piece of vegetable separately with lots of egg adhering to it and drop it into the hot oil. (Limit the contents of the wok to about 8 pieces at any one time in order to give each piece sufficient space.) Lift out each piece as it cooks, drain well and arrange on a plate.
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