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Nam Prik Ong Recipe. Spicy Northern Thai Ground Pork Dip
Cooking wise, Thailand is a very regionalized country - and Thai food can be split into 4 distinct and very different categories:
- Southern (The spiciest)
- Central (Bangkok)
- Isaan or North Eastern Food (Many would argue the finest!!!)
- Northern Thai (Food with Burmese influence)
Here is a recipe for Northern Thailand's famous red minced pork nam prik. A spicy pork based dipping sauce for raw and steamed vegetables and one of Northern Thai cooking's signature dishes.
Although the dish is traditionally made spicy, those with tamer palates may choose to omit or reduce the chili as desired.
Nam Prik Ong Recipe (A Starter for 4)
- 1 lb ground pork
- 4 plum tomatoes
- 5-6 cloves of garlic
- 5-6 small shallots (A half red onion in slices can be substituted if shallots are unavailable
- 1 Tbls vegetable oil or neutral oil of your choice
- 3 Tbls fish sauce
- 1- 1 1/2 Tbls of sugar
- 1 key lime or ½ of a larger lime
- 20 Thai bird chilis (or less if you don't care for mouth fire)
- ½ cup of water
- Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat. When pre heated, toss in your whole tomatoes to dry roast them (No oil is needed) Let cook turning occasionally until cooked through and browned/blackened all over – 5 – 10 minutes. Remove and set aside
- Repeat the same dry roasting procedure with the shallots, chilis and onions. Again, remove and set aside.
- Add the pork to your skillet (if it is too blackened, get a new skillet fired up) and cook through.
- In a mortar and pestle, squish squash the chili, shallots and garlic very well (you may use a blender if you don’t have a mortar and pestle here). When well smashed up, add in the tomatoes and squish them up too.
- Throw another heavy skillet on the stove top, and heat it up to medium high. When hot, add in the Tbls of oil and the pork, the chili-tomato-garlic-shallot paste, and the remaining ingredients, the water, fish sauce, sugar and lime juice.
Heat it all up to a vigorous boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer until it is well combined and uniform, and has the consistency of a thick Bolognese pasta sauce.
Taste for seasoning and serve with fresh cut slices of cucumber and wedges of crisp cabbage (pork rinds are also a traditional accompaniment.
This works very well as an appetizer before a Thai style or better yet, a Northern Thai style dinner. Enjoy!
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