Preserved Yu Choy Green Dip (Nam Phrik Nam Phak)

Preserved Yu Choy Green Dip
While prepping the greens for this northern Thai dip takes more than a day, most of the time is hands off, and the results are so worth the effort. Reprinted from The Food of Northern Thailand. Copyright © 2018 by Austin Bush. Photographs copyright © 2018 by Austin Bush. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.Austin Bush

To make nam phrik nam phak, the villagers of Ban San Thang Luang, in rural Chiang Rai, take freshly picked yu choy greens and dry them in the sun for a day, ferment them for as many as two nights, and boil them for another hour before finally pounding them with spices and toasted chiles in a mortar and pestle. Those of us living in less tropical climes can approximate the sun-drying process by spreading the greens out onto several racks and placing in a dehydrator or a low oven, stirring occasionally, until they reach the proper dryness.

A spice related to Sichuan peppercorn and prickly ash, makhwaen seeds are commonly used in northern Thailand but tricky to find in the U.S. Christian Leue of New York-based spice purveyor La Boite suggests substituting a mixture of sansho peppercorns and orange zest to approximate their bright, piney, floral fragrance and numbing sensation.

This recipe is adapted from Austin Bush's The Food of Northern Thailand.

What You Will Need