This recipe is normally made from sun dried chiles. A more timid version can be made with smoked dry chiles like the large chiles the Hill Tribes make in Northern Thailand. They are so smoky and wonderful and similiar to say an ancho but with a bit more heat like a chipotle. Mixing the two results a wonderful smokiness with a bit of heat. Another great chile to use for this dipping sauce is De Arbol which is often available in Mexican markets. Dried long chiles also can be found in many Asian markets in the US and Europe.
Dried red chilis are fairly readily available in America and Europe, but dried green chilis are unusual. You could dry, or smoke fresh chiles, either in a hot oven or in a sealed container on a barbeque, or with a home desiccator, but if all else fails, chop fresh chilis, and spread them on a cookie tray and put them under the broiler until fairly dry.
This sauce keeps well, and is popular as "traveler's fare" in Thailand, being used as an accompaniment to various dried meats and sliced vegetables.
Nam Prik Narok (¹éÓ¾ÃÔ¡¹Ã¡ - Dipping Sauce from Hell)
1 to 1/2 pounds of catfish pieces
8 ounces of dried prik ki nu haeng (dried greed birdseye chilis)
1/4 cup of garlic, chopped (including the skins)
1/4 cup of shallots, chopped (including the skins)
1 tablespoon of kapi (fermented shrimp paste)
2 Tbls. fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar (preferably palm sugar).
The shallots and garlic are broiled/grilled until the skins blacken, and then peeled and chopped.
The dried chilis/chiles are also broiled until they just begin to blacken. This is very critical -- overdo it and the vapor given off is highly irritating to the nose and eyes! (If nervous, follow the suggestion above about cooking on a cookie sheet, but do it outdoors.)
Deep fry the fish until crispy, then flake off the flesh, discarding the bones. You need 1 pound of shredded cooked fish.
Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor.
This condiment can be kept in a well covered jar in the refrigerator for several weeks.