South East Asia has a gamut of chilli based condiments & sauces under various guises and names! In Thailand alone, there are over a dozen well known ones and goodness knows how many more family recipes there are!
We’ll start this mini series of Thai chilli sauces/pastes with a slightly less well known one – Nam Prik Noom (Thai Green Chilli Sauce). Traditionally made with just some green chillies, shallots, garlic & the usual fish sauce, palm sugar & lime juice this is the personification of hot, sour & sweet.
The recipe I make was learnt on one of my dive trips to Thailand. The lady who did all the cooking, adds some eggplant & tomatoes into the dip, the way her mother used to make it, apparently. And that’s how I’ve been making it all these years.
We roast all the vegetables prior to chopping or you can also fry everything in a wok, in a little oil – I prefer roasting. What I like to do is place the aubergine on a direct low flame for about 10 minutes, while I get everything ready. It then goes under the grill with everything else. This not only give the aubergine a head start which it needs but also creates a slightly smoky flavour, àla Baba Ghanoush.
Cut the non pointy end of the shallots & garlic, this way, you can just squeeze out the middle after roasting.
The chillies – I like to mix large non spicy varieties like jalapeños or any other nondescript ones you can find with 2-3 tiny Thai ones for the heat. This way, I’m getting the flavour without debilitating heat!
Keeps in the fridge for about 2 weeks.Print
- 3 medium heat or mild large green chillies
- 3 Thai green chillies
- 2 medium onions
- 10 cloves garlic
- 1 medium aubergine
- 1 large tomato
- 1 tsp palm sugar
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- copped chives, spring onions or fresh coriander
- strips of green chilli
- Place the aubergine on a low open flame on the gas stove for 10 minutes, turning it around a couple of times.
- Get all the other ingredients ready in the meantime. Top the onions & garlic as mentioned above, that is, slice the non pointy ends off.
- When the aubergines has had it time, place everything under a medium grill (halfway) for about 10 minutes, turning once. You’ll find the little chillies going completely soft first, take them out if you prefer, but I like the “overdone” flavour, it’s sweet.
- Place everything apart from the garnish into a chopper & chop away to your heart’s content! I like to go for a fine, liquid-y grind.
- Serve as a dip or a topping for canapés as in picture. I also like to add a tablespoon or so to curries and other Asian stews for a wonderful, tangy depth.
- Store in a sterilized jar for about 2 weeks in the fridge.