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Sweet and Hot Garlic Sauce / nahm jeem gratiem   Real Thai: Basics Chapter   page 189

This elemental dipping sauce sparkles with luscious sweetness, tangy vinegar notes,  a rustic assist from chopped-up garlic, and a modest assist from chili paste to link everything in to one fine whole. Thai cooks pair this with deep-fried spring rolls and grilled garlicky chicken, as a means to slice through the richness of grilled meats and crisp fried treats. Making this ahead makes sense, as it’s served at room temperature and can be covered and chilled for a day or so if you don’t serve it right away.

One pan, a small saucepan; one cutting board, to  chop up the garlic; one measuring spoon to portion out the chili paste (not that you wouldn’t be more than fine to eyeball the heat-level to suit your self), and one measuring cup for the vinegar, sugar, and water. Boil everything but the chili paste, and then set it aside to set up into a pleasing moderately thickened syrup that lights up steamed broccoli, grilled asparagus, pork chops, teriyaki, or your very best burger.

If you love it as much as I do, you may want to make some big batches so that you can portion it out in jars to give to people you like the best. For the chili-kiss at the end, I am partial to the small plastic jars of chili garlic paste, with parrot-green lids and visible seeds and fire-engine red pulp visible within, showing off their sassy selves. You could also use Texas Pete, or Tabasco Sauce, as well as a well smashed fresh hot red chili pepper, if it’s wet enough to color the sauce handsomely.

Basic Recipes Chapter, page 189

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