Recipe for North Thai Tomato-&-Meat Sauce (Nam Prik Ong)


1 stephen ceideburg
1/4 lb pork tenderloin *
2 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1 large shallot, minced
2 serrano chilies, with seeds, choppe; d
1 teaspoon tiny dried shrimp, minced, or 1/2 t; sp. shrimp paste
1 teaspoon minced fresh lemon grass **
1 lb ripe plum tomatoes, chopped or: ***
1/2 cup defatted chicken stock or water
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar


* trimmed of fat and membrane and cut in chunks ** or 1 tsp. dried, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes, drained and minced *** 1 28-oz. can plum (Italian-style) tomatoes, drained and chopped

Not unlike a That version of spaghetti sauce, this is from the regional cuisine of north Thailand. Note: Dried shrimp and shrimp paste give off a strong aroma during cooking, but the flavor mellows.

Place pork in a food processor and using an on/off motion, process until it is ground. Alternatively, chop pork with a sharp knife. Set aside.

In a heavy, medium-sized saucepan, heat oil over medium high heat. Add garlic and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes, or until browned. Add shallots, chilies, dried shrimp or shrimp paste and lemon grass and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the pork and stir-fry for about 1 minute, or until browned. Add tomatoes, stock or water, fish sauce and sugar and increase the heat to high. Cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes, or until the mixture boils vigorously. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Serve with sticky rice.

Serves 4 as a main dish or 6 in combination with other dishes.

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