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Michael and Karen, you’ve been waiting for this, so this one is for you. Credit for this one goes to Koom, for showing me how to make this years ago. I’ve had some serious mileage from this recipe!

This wonderfully pungent seafood dip is VERY quick and easy to make. It makes the perfect accompaniment for all kinds of seafood, whether fried, BBQ’d, grilled or steamed. Don’t take too much notice of the quantities involved, as they are very approximate. The most important tastes to balance are the salty and sour, from the fish sauce and lime juice, and this can only be done by tasting it.

Having a very large pestle and mortar makes it much easier to smash the ingredients together, but it can still be done in a smaller one. As you smash the chillies the seeds tend to fly everywhere. Wearing glasses or goggles at this point might be a good idea so as not to get a chilli seed in the eye – it hurts.



Handful of Thai chillies (10 – 15, depending on size)

equal amount of garlic

teaspoon of palm sugar, shaved off the block

3 – 5 splashes of fish sauce

juice of 1 – 2 limes


1. Using a pestle and mortar, smash up the chillies.

2. Add the garlic, and the palm sugar, and mash it all together.

3. Scoop the mash out of the pestle and mortar into a small bowl.

4. Splash in the fish sauce.

5. Add the juice from a whole lime.

6. Taste it. It will be intense!! But, get over it and and ask yourself if it needs more lime juice, or maybe more fish sauce.

7. Adjust if necessary.

8. Serve alongside fried fish, BBQ’d prawns, squid, etc.

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