Hell Dipping Sauce - Nam Prik Na-Rok

Course : Dips
Serves: 1
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2 cups oil for deep-frying
2 pounds freshwater fish fillets
1 cup dried green Thai chili -- peppers
1/2 cup unpeeled garlic cloves
1/2 cup unpeeled whole shallots
2 tablespoons shrimp paste
1/4 cup fish sauce -- (nam pla)
3 tablespoons palm sugar

Preparation / Directions:

Because it keeps well, this sauce was traditionally used by travelers. Heat the oil in a large skillet to 375øF. Deep-fry the fish fillets until very crispy and golden brown. Charcoal-broil/grill the chilies, garlic and shallots until their outsides are charred. Remove the garlic and shallot skins. Place the fried fish, chilies, garlic and shallots in a mortar and mash with the pestle until smooth, or use the blender. Place the shrimp paste, fish sauce and palm sugar in a small saucepan and cook for about 15 minutes on medium-high heat, so that the mixture is reduced to a paste. Thoroughly combine the mashed ingredients with the reduced sauce ingredients. Store in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and use as a dipping sauce or for cooking.

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