The other day, when it was quiet and the time went slow, I had luxury amount of time to relax and just be. I recently came out of GM Diet, a 7 Days Dieting Program, and I have lost 4 kg (8.8 pounds). I felt light and fresh. Although during the diet, it was hard and I struggled tremendously to control my craving, when it was done, I was proud of myself. The thing is, after such long difficulty, it makes me realize the importance of my decision regarding what to put inside my mouth. I don’t want to eat bad food anymore. It’s not worth gaining weight back after such hard work.
Does this mean I will only eat healthy food from now on? No, it’s impossible! I don’t want to live without junk food!
Though I will do my best to make the right choices for my body, I will never give up unhealthy comfort food. I will still eat street food. A lot of street food. I will eat everything that makes me absolutely happy. So what’s changed? Now I believe in a simple rule, my very own made-up eating philosophy. I will only eat either food that I’m totally happy with or food that is super good for my health. Sounds complicated? I don’t know if this makes sense. What I mean is I will eat French Fries if I think I will really love it, love the quality, love the look, love the taste, and if it wows me! I won’t eat French Fries because it’s available and it seems okay on the menu. I will indulge when the food is worth the calories. I will eat the real food, the best food, the food that I believe that it’s amazing whether it comes from the street or 5- stars restaurants, whether it’s fresh and clean or covered in greasy reused oil. And at the same time, I will eat healthy, fresh, seasonal food that is good for my body.
I love real food. My definition of real food is rustic food that is made with care and packed with flavor. Real food is uncomplicated, humble, addictive and familiar. Here’s one!
Nam Prik Goong Haeng is spicy dried shrimp chilli paste. Nam Prik, chili based dipping sauce or paste, is a stable food in my house in Thailand. It has to be there in every meal. There are so many varieties of Nam Prik. This one is made with dried shrimp and a lot of simple ingredients that are always available in our small kitchen. It can be served as dip with fresh or steamed veggies. I love mixing it in hot rice. It gives the kick in meal, kind of like sambal. This is happy food.
Nam Prik Goong Haeng
20 dried red chilies- cleaned and deseeded
¼ cup garlic
½ cup shallots
½ cup dried tamarind
2 tbsp salt
1 cup dried shrimp
2 tbsp palm sugar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Soak dried red chilies, tamarind and dried shrimp in hot water in 3 separate bowls for 20 minutes. Drain red chilies and shrimp and keep aside to cool down. For tamarind, squeeze and strain the tamarind water through the sift and reserve the tamarind sauce.
In a blender, add red chilies, garlic, shallot, shrimp and tamarind sauce.
Blend until smooth.
In a sauce pan, heat oil over high heat and add the paste. Fry for 5 minutes on high heat and reduce the heat to medium.
Add salt and palm sugar. Cook by stirring continuously for 20 minutes. You will notice the oil rise to the top of the paste.
Check the seasoning. It should be spicy and balance.
Remove from the heat. You can serve it hot with rice, veggies or grilled fish. It can be store in refrigerator upto a month.
Nam Prik is customizable food. You can adjust the taste as per your liking. Many people like it with ways more chilies in the paste than what I have used in this recipe. I prefer it spicy and slightly sweet, and I usually eat it with hot rice and some hard boiled eggs on the side.