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Thu 27 Apr 2017
Thai Food Dips
Written by Wadee Kheourai   
Wednesday, 21 February 2007 18:34

Nam Jim Kai: This is a multi - purpose dip which is predominantly sweet in taste. Sugar forms the base, but fish sauce, garlic and red chilli round out the flavour. It complements barbecued chicken, skewered pork, grilled cuttlefish, fried wanton, spring rolls or batter fried shrimp.

There are other variations to this sweet dip. If cucumber slices, crushed peanuts and a bit of vinegar are added, the dip is used with fried bean curd and fried fish cakes.

Ajaat: This is a light dip. The main ingredients are crunchy cucumber slices, thinly sliced red chillis and onions in a syrup of sugar, salt and vinegar. Ajaat is eaten with some kinds of curries to cool down the pungent richness, and always accompanies Thai satay.

Satay Sauce: This satay is very similar to the original Indonesian dip. It has the same peanut base but the Thai version is less viscous and has more "bite" to it. The main ingredients are peanuts, coconut milk, chilli and curry base pounded to an even consistency and seasoned with sugar and salt.

Nam Phrik: All Thais love Nam phrik or chilli dip. With variations, it is eaten in every area and every house as it is the tastiest and least expensive accompaniment to a Thai rice meal. Nam phrik pla thu or chilli dip with Thai mackerel is popular throughout the country but especially in the central Thailand. Any Thai back from a long trip abroad is likely to request this favourite on the first day he is home. Newcomers to Thailand may take a while to get used to the taste and smell. Recipes vary according to regional preferences and the specific type of nam phrik dip to be made, but the basic ingredients are garlic, chilli, shrimp paste or shrimp power, seasoned with fish sauce, lime and palm sugar. All these are pounded together into a lumpy paste.

For other variations of nam phrik, the chilli, shrimp paste, onions or shallots and garlic are lightly grilled. Nam phrik is eaten with fresh or boiled vegetables.

Phrik Kap Klua: A common sight in Thailand is the roadside fruit vendor, since Thais often starve off the effects of heat and thirst with fresh fruit snacks. Along with his raw and pickled, mangoes, ripe pineapple, fresh guava, etc. the fruit vendor always has an ample supply of phrik kap klua. It is made from a mixture of sugar, salt and crushed chilli.