In Thailand, condiments are one of the essential parts of the meal. Different kind of sauces and dips accompany main dishes to emphasize and intensify the flavors. These dipping sauces are easy to make, usually with any ingredients that available in our kitchen. Chili flakes with a little sugar, lime juice, fish sauce and chopped scallion make a great dipping sauce for roasted meat. The same recipe with fresh chili instead of chili flakes is good for seafood. But one of the most popular dipping sauces is the one with shrimp paste, Nam Prik Kra Pi. Not everyone likes the aroma of shrimp paste, but this sauce is good with steam vegetable, fried mackerel and omelet. Shrimp paste sauce mixed with hot cooked rice is divine. I seriously can live on that everyday.
Traditionally Shrimp Paste Sauce is made with roasted shrimp paste mix with lime juice, palm sugar, garlic and a lot fresh red chilies and pea eggplants floating on top. I didn’t have red chilies and pea eggplants so I used the green chilies instead and skipped the eggplants. When I get the right ingredients, I will show you the proper way to do it, but this one is absolutely delicious, too.
Fried whole mackerels are great with this sauce. Cooked rice and soft ribbons of omelet make this even more perfect.
Fried Fish and Shrimp Sauce with Rice
2 tsp shrimp paste
Juice of 2 lime
1 ½ tbsp palm sugar
3 cloves garlic
3 whole fresh chilies- sliced
¼ cup hot water
Fish sauce to taste
500 gm Mackerel- cleaned and gutted
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1. In the pan, roast shrimp paste until aromatic. The smell can get really overwhelmed so you might want to open all windows and turn the kitchen hood to high speed.
2. In a pestle, roughly pound garlic, shallots and chilies. Add palm sugar, lime juice and hot water. Mix well and add fish sauce if needed. Check the seasoning and serve.
3. To fry mackerel, season the fish with a little salt and fry them in the pan with some oil. It should take about 5 minutes each side or until golden brown.
4. Serve fried fish and shrimp paste sauce with some rice and sliced omelet on the side. Enjoy!