Thai Green Chile Seafood Sauce
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
10 Thai bird chiles or 2 serrano chiles, stemmed and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons sugar (date palm is best)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
In a mortar, pound the garlic, chiles and 1 tablespoon of the sugar to a coarse paste; gradually add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar until pasty. Add the lime juice, the remaining 3 tablespoons of fish sauce and the water.
Stir in the chopped cilantro.
Green Chile Sauce Version 2
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 large green chiles, slit open, seed and chop
3 cilantro roots, scraped clean and minced
3 chopped shallots
5 to 6 bird's-eye chiles (optional-for extra heat)
2-3 tbsp shaved palm sugar
2-3 tbsp lime juice
1 - 2 tbsp fish sauce
Grind the garlic, green chiles, cilantro roots, shallots and bird's-eye chiles, if using, in a mortar and pestle or blender.
Add the palm sugar, lime juice and fish sauce and mix well.
Yields 3/4 cup
Usually eaten with seafood.
Sweet & Sour Chile Sauce
3 shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp dried chili flakes or ground red pepper
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp water
Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes until sauce thickens.
Remove from heat and serve with pork or chicken.
NOTE: Keep in mind that the amounts stated above of chile, fish sauce, sugar and lime juice can all be altered to suit your personal tastes. It is all about balance!
TIP: When you have to grind ingredients, grind the tougher items first, add a little oil or water and remember, if using a blender, do not overload.
Store the unused portions of sauce in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for up to a week or two.
Every Thai restaurant has a "condiment set" of four or five little pots, known in Thai as kruang prung (often stainless steel). Sometimes these condiments are served in beautiful handmade porcelaine blue and white serveware called pineapple design. This is an old and traditional design in most Thai homes even today.
These little sets are filled with:
2. phom prik (ground dried red birdseye chiles) which are often roasted in a pan or over a fire before grinding.
3 nam pla prik (1 part sliced green birds eye chiles to 4 parts fish sauce, marinated for a week)
4. prik dong (1 part sliced red birds eye chiles, in four parts rice vinegar, marinated for a week)
5. prik siyu wan (one part sliced green Thai serranos or jalapenos in four parts dark sweet soy sauce, marinated for a week).
These are added liberally to every dish as the diner requires. Bottles of fish sauce, dark soy, sweet soy, and sometimes oyster sauce and hot sauce are added. In some Chinese-Thai restaurants and homes you may also find MSG, however most Thais do not use this ingredient.
A sweet sauce (consisting of finely sliced red birds eye chiles, chopped garlic and grated ginger in date palm sugar syrup), is also often found.
These numerous condiments allow a diner to customize dishes to their taste!
In Thai Cuisine there are several popular condiments. All can be made at home preferably at least one week before serving so as to allow maturing of flavours. I just keep them together in my refrigerator in a plastic tub, shoe box size.
There are literally dozens of wonderful Thai condiments and dipping sauces, hot or sweet. Click here for a complete list and recipes: