This fiery, funky northern Thai chile dip is served with raw vegetables and fried pork rinds. This recipe first appeared in our April 2012 issue along with Beth Kracklauer's story Thai Tutorial.
- 6 cloves unpeeled garlic
- 3 banana peppers
- 1 red Holland chile
- 6 cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1⁄2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp. Thai shrimp paste
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 dried, stemmed chile de arbol
- 3 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro (including stems)
- 1 finely chopped scallion
Heat a 12″ cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Place garlic in skillet, and cook, turning, until charred in spots, about 7 minutes; remove from skillet and set aside. Place banana peppers and chile in skillet, and cook, turning, until charred all over, about 9 minutes; set aside. Add tomatoes to skillet, and cook, turning, until charred all over, about 12 minutes; set aside. Add onion to skillet, and cook, stirring, until lightly caramelized, about 9 minutes.
Transfer onions to a food processor; add Thai shrimp paste, sugar, kosher salt and chile de arbol and purée. Peel the charred garlic and peppers of their skins, roughly chop the peeled peppers, and add to food processor along with garlic and tomatoes; pulse together into a coarse yet smooth-textured paste.
Transfer mixture to a serving bowl and stir in cilantro and scallion. Serve with cucumber, steamed cauliflower florets, carrots, green beans, and deep-fried pork skins.