Nam Jim Jaew
This sauce is all things spicy, sweet, salty and sour. The freshly crushed roasted rice grains add smoky body. Freshly roasting your own jasmine rice grains are key and pounding it fresh makes a world of difference. It only takes a few minutes but you have to keep your eyes on it. So many times have I accidentally burned it and set my fire alarm off in the process.
Nam Jaew is a favorite in my house; Each family has their own recipe. This sauce can be served as a contrast sweet to the ubiquitous Nam Jim Gai. My favorites are Moo Ping (brown sugar marinated pork should skewers), Grilled Street Chicken, and simply grilled steak grilled with some salt and sliced thinly. I'll have some more of these recipes up as a part of my summer grilling series.
Nam Jim Jaew
¼ cup thinly sliced shallots
¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
⅓ cup fish sauce
Juice of one lime
2 teaspoons white sugar or palm sugar
1 tablespoons of uncooked jasmine rice for Khao Khua*
1 tablespoon of dried Thai red pepper flakes (coarsely ground), more or less depending on your spicy preference
1. Toast the tablespoon of uncooked rice until golden brown. This should take a few minutes on medium high heat. No oil is needed. Keep your eye on this and stir the pan frequently. The rice will go from slightly translucent white to very opaque white and eventually golden brown. Crush in the mortar with a pestle until it becomes a course powder.
2. Mix all of the ingredients into a small bowl and adjust to taste. I like mine more sour and spicy. the flavors should come out salty/sour with a base of sweetness and smoke. Add more ground chillis if you prefer spicier.
Store in refrigerator. Keeps well for 2 days.