Vietnamese chili sauce

Yield: 1 Servings

Measure Ingredient
2 \N Dried Red Chiles
2 \N Cloves Garlic
½ teaspoon Sugar
2 tablespoons Nam Pla (Fish Sauce)
1 tablespoon Vinegar
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice

Mince the chiles and garlic finely and place in a mortar. Mash with the heal of a cleaver or pestle. Add sugar and stir until it dissolves. Add fish sauce, vinegar and lemon juice, stirring between each addition. This makes enough for 2-4 people. It is wise to make double just to make sure there is enough. It can be frozen and will last for a few days in the refrigerator but will lose its kick in a short time. This is a basic chili sauce used for a dip with chicken or whatever. Variations of this are found in cambodia, Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries. You can fiddle with it endlessly.

This is a good starting point. The proportions shown here produce what might be considered a mildly warm dip. Add more chiles for a higher degree of "HOT". Variations: Use green Serrano chiles instead of dried red ones, lime juice instead of lemon juice or palm sugar instead of granulated. If you make it in a food processor, don't over process. There should be small chunks of the ingredients in the sauce. The taste is sour and hot, very puckery. It's great with poached or steamed chicken, duck or game hens. Much better with bland dishes rather than something like curry, which has it's own blend of spices. Fish Sauce or Nam Pla in Thailand is a liquid made with anchovies and salt. It's not really fishy tasting. Look for it in the oriental section of the supermarket or at markets catering to Asian customers. Tiparos is a good brand made in the Phillipines. Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce are prefered, but may be more difficult to find. Chinese Fish Sauce is not suitable. If you want the flavor and not the incendiary quality, seed the chiles before adding them.

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