Chili jam is a must-have condiment in Thailand. It packs all the sweet, sour, salty, and spicy hits you’d expect in Thai food into a delicious jammy topping. What separates this concoction from your run-of-the-mill hot sauce is the subtle deep flavour of the shrimp paste. Make lots—it keeps well in the fridge. Use it whenever you’re looking for a touch of heat.
Makes 2 cups (500 mL) chili jam
- Vegetable oil for deep-frying, about 1 cup (250 mL)
- 2 cups (500 mL) shallots, sliced lengthwise
- 1 cup (250 mL) garlic, sliced lengthwise
- Five 1/8-inch (3 mm) slices unpeeled galangal
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) dried long red chilies, rinsed, seeds removed
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) dried shrimp, rinsed and pat dry
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) shrimp paste
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) palm sugar (chopped, pounded in a mortar and pestle, or finely grated)
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) tamarind paste
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) fish sauce
- In a wok or heavy-bottomed small saucepan over medium-high, heat the oil to 350°F (177°C) heat. Deep-fry the shallots, garlic, galangal, chilies, and dried shrimp until golden. Watch the chilies carefully; you want them to just blister and brown as burning will make the chili jam very bitter. Remove using a slotted spoon or spider, and leave to cool on a plate.
- Transfer to a food processor, add the shrimp paste, and blend. Add some of the deep-frying oil if the mixture is dry.
- Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, and add the palm sugar, tamarind, and fish sauce until quite thick, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Store in a glass jar in the fridge. Will keep for 10 days.
Pailin Chongchitnant’s recipe from the One World Kitchen series, brought to you by Gusto TV.
Go to oneworldkitchen.ca