This is an essential accompanyment with many East Asian cuisines. It’s a fiery little devil and should only be used in small quantities. But don’t be too afraid, it can really lift the simplest of dishes from a clear soup, to spring rolls, to a fried rice or noodle dish and EVERYTHING in between.
4 red chillies
1 tablespoon shrimp paste
1 lime (juice of)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 kaffir lime leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cut each chilli in half and remove and keep the seeds. Chop the chillies and set aside. In a dry frying pan, heat the shrimp paste till it becomes crumbly and dry. Add this to the chillies. Cut off and discard the stems from the lime leaves. Chop the remaining leaves and add to the chillies. With a hand blender, in a food processor or with a pestle & mortar blend the chillies into a smooth paste. Add the sugar and half the seeds and blend a little more. Add the remaining seeds, lime juice and salt and stir well. Leave for at least an hour to let the flavours settle together.
As an accompanyment to anything Malaysian, Thai, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Laoation, Indonesian etc…