Nam jim jaew is a spicy and sour dipping sauce hailing from the Northeast of Thailand. It is a good accompaniment for grills and barbecues.
Either grills or barbecues as well as some steamed fish in Isan (northeastern Thai) style, people here never hesitate to have a simple dipping sauce called nam jim jaew to serve along with those. There are various versions of this. Some may use tamarind paste instead of lime juice, which the taste seems mellower. Some may add a little palm sugar to balance the flavour.
With umami flavour from the fish sauce added, the unique scent and sourness from the lime juice, a nutty flavour and toasted aroma from toasted rice powder and a little spiciness from crushed chili stimulating or even irritating the palate, causing diners desire to eat more and more, it is also a good choice for many grills and barbecues.
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp crushed chili
- ½ tbsp toasted rice powder
- 1 tsp crosswise chopped spring onion, for sprinkling
- 1 tsp crosswise chopped cilantro (if not available, use coriander), for sprinkling
- Mix the fish sauce, lime juice, crushed chili and toasted rice powder in a bowl enough to contain all ingredients.
- Sprinkle with the chopped spring onion and chopped cilantro.
Tip: The flavour should be salty, sour and a little spicy.