Jaew bong


  • Serves 8 people

  • 10 large red shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 20 gm (4cm piece) galangal, coarsely chopped
  • 1 piece fermented salted mackerel (about 60gm), rinsed
  • 8 dried long red chillies, soaked in warm water overnight, drained
  • 3 long red chillies
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, torn
  • 30 gm tamarind pulp, dissolved in 80ml hot water, strained (solids discarded)
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce, or to taste
  • 20 gm light palm sugar, crushed
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • To serve: snake beans, cabbage, boiled quail eggs, Thai basil, baby cucumbers and preserved banana blossoms
01   Roast shallot, garlic and galangal in a wok over medium-high heat until fragrant, tender and caramelised (10-15 minutes).
02   Meanwhile, cover fish with water in a saucepan and bring to the simmer over high heat, cook until fish begins to break apart (1 minute). Drain, discard bones and skin and transfer to a food processor.
03   Add chillies, lime leaves and roasted ingredients and process to a paste. Add tamarind liquid, fish sauce and palm sugar and process to combine.
04   Heat oil in a small frying pan over medium-high heat, add paste and fry until fragrant (5-10 minutes). Cool, then serve with accompaniments.
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