Vietnamese Chili Sauce (Dip)

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Title: Vietnamese Chili Sauce (Dip)
Yield: 1 Batch
Categories: Vietnamese, Condiment

Ingredients:

2 Dried red chilies
2 Cloves garlic
1/2 ts Sugar
2 tb Fish sauce
1 tb Vinegar
1 tb Lemon juice


Mince chilies and garlic finely and place in a mortar. Mash with the
heel 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 to 4 people. I almost always
double the recipe just to make sure there's enough. I've kept it for
long periods of time but unless you freeze it, it's past it's prime
after a few days. This is a basic chili sauce used for a dip for
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 I consider a
mildly warm dip. I generally use two to six times as many chilies,
depending on their strength and how hot I want it.

Variations: use green serrano chilies instead of dried red ones, lime
juice instead of the lemon juice or palm sugar instead of granulated.
If you make it in a food processor, don't over process. It should
have small chunks of each ingredient rather than being a homogeneous
liquid.

The taste is sour and hot, very puckery. It's great with poached or
steamed chicken, duck or game hens. Much better with basically bland
dishes rather than something like curry which has it's own blend of
spices. Good with Chinese white-cut chicken or Steamed Ginger Chicken
with Black Bean sauce. It's truly addictive and I often serve it
with meals that are not Oriental in origin. Should be good with a
firm- fleshed white fish or boiled shrimp or crab.

Fish sauce is a liquid made with anchovies and salt. It's not really
fishy tasting. Look for it in the oriental section of supermarkets
or at markets catering to Asian clientele. Tiparos is a good brand
made in the Philippines. I prefer Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce, but
they'll probably be harder to find. Chinese fish sauce is NOT a
substitute.

Posted by Stephen Ceideburg Dec 8 1989.

File ftp://ftp.idiscover.co.uk/pub/food/mealmaster/recipes/cberg2.zip