We've already discussed nam phrik, the textured spicy Thai relishes pounded with a pestle and mortar. The other sauces in Thai cuisine are lon, which can be considered a softer relish, and are usually cooked. These sauces tend to include a fermented element, such as the fermented soybeans in the recipe for lon tao jiao below, and are salty and rich with the coconut cream in which they are simmered.
Tao Jeow Lohn (Fermented Soybean Dip)
Lon tao jiow (jeow) is often favoured by those averse to chilli in their food. Ground pork or prawns are generally added in order to calm the boldness of the salted bean, but extra firm tofu does the trick just as well. The chillies in this recipe are added at the very end, so do not impart their heat to the rest of the relish. Be sure to adjust and season the lon to obtain a balance of salty, sweet and sour.
- ½ cup drained fermented soybeans
- ½ cup coconut cream
- 125g 4.5oz extra firm white tofu
- 1-2 tablespoons thick tamarind water
- 1 tablespoon palm sugar
- 1 teaspoon seasoning sauce
- Pinch or two salt
- 3 tablespoons ¼-1/8 inch thick sliced shallot
- A few 1 cm slices red and/or green spur chillies
- Pound the fermented soybeans with a pestle and mortar.
- In a medium saucepan, bring coconut milk to a rolling boil on medium heat. Tip the pounded fermented soy beans into the liquid. Crumbled the tofu by squeezing it in your fist into the pot. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Season with tamarind juice, palm sugar, seasoning sauce, and salt. The flavour balance should be one of salty, sweet, and sour, so taste to adjust.
- Add the chillies and shallots, cooking for a further minute before serving with raw vegetables and/or soy rinds.
- By Messy Vegan Cook
- Serves: 1-2 as a snack
- Cuisine: Thai