Homemade Thai Chili Sauce


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My little sister and fellow Cooking Spot contributor Nathalia of Creatively Conscious was married this fall in the loveliest wedding ceremony up in the pine-dotted Sierra.  She and her husband Loren then took off for an epic honeymoon of honeymoons – to travel the world together for 7 months hand-in-hand. It really doesn’t get any more lovely or romantic than that.

It has been like a dream to be able to follow their adventures through their Instagram “Lov3_is_Key” and their Blog, LoveIsKey.net.  But, better than that, Loren and Nathalia invited family members to join them along the way.  I poured over their itinerary with my husband’s large atlas spread on the floor in front of me, my calendar to the right and my computer to my left, tracing what would be their epic journey, trying to decide where in the world would we fly off to see them, fantasizing about all the wonderful places, the amazing food, the cultures, and the people one would meet.  I knew a few things for certain, I wanted to be with my sister for a holiday, traveling can be hard and so can being so far away from your family so this was a priority. If I could make at least one holiday feel a little bit like home, I would have achieved my goal.  Also I wanted to go somewhere new, somewhere I thought I would never get a chance in my lifetime to visit, an adventure to top all adventures.

There it was, staring me in the face; my work calendar was clear, the tickets not too pricey and a holiday to boot.  So with the true attention to detail and care of a Virgo, I double, no triple checked the tickets and with a deep breath that felt like it came from my toes, I clicked the charge button and we were booked.  My husband Matthew and I would join Loren and Nathalia for 10 days in Thailand.

We had the most amazing adventures, we found ourselves wandering in and out of the epic markets of Chiang Mai.  We got lost in a tuk tuk, driving through Chiang Rai trying desperately to break through the language barrier and find a restaurant our research assured us would be glorious.  We ate on a roof top hotel with drinks that glowed as Bangkok twinkled some 60 floors below us quietly in the night.  We trekked through the jungle for two days from long tailed boats to the backs of elephants and then on our own feet marching, clinging really, to the barely there path through the hills and valleys of  the most northern parts of Thailand, to explore the hill-tribe villages and the people that still thrive there.  We stayed in boutique hotels along peaceful rivers and big swanky hotels with the superb Thai service you read about.  Oh and we ate…and ate…and ate.  The food.  Oh dear lord the FOOD! For breakfast, lunch, and dinner we sat at tables full of the local dishes, bowls of curry, plates of rice pasta, ladles of spicy soups, and always cold refreshing Thai beer to wash it down.  Passing spoons or forks across candle-lit tables, or over children running through the market streets or sliding dishes across bistro tables, all sharing and ogling over the presentation, the colors and the flavors.  Always on the table were peppers, sauce, and condiments.  You could make the same bowl of breakfast noodles taste completely different from one day to the next by simply adding a little more of this or a little more of that.  Thailand certainly makes our restaurant table trio of ketchup, mustard, and tabasco look like underachieving slackers on a table.

After falling in love with the food and especially the dried chilies and sauces that dotted every table, we made sure to fill our bags with as many chilies as customs would allow.  However, these are not hard to find stateside, thank goodness for modern marvels! You can purchase them online and at most Asian markets.  I have enjoyed making a few sauces with the chili’s we brought back and scooping the spicy goodness into soups, pouring it over eggs, and generally sprinkling it on just about anything I put in my mouth.  My favorite use has been in my homemade Gluten Free Noodle Bowl that I shared on Marcella Rose’s a few weeks ago.  Now you can simply grind up these stunning peppers husk, seeds and all, and serve that dried to sprinkle like any other dried herb, or mix this mashed up spice powder into a sauce.  You can remove the seeds to sprinkle on your pizza perhaps, or use the seeds to pack the heat into sauces.  I am going to share two sauces with you and I do hope you try them both to spice up you next meal!  These are of course variations as almost every restaurant, family, or person may have their own favorite way of making these sauces.  So be brave and bold and make it your own!

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Chilis dry on roof tops in Thailand

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Nathalia and Loren the lovely honeymooning newly weds

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Pad Thai, made better by the use of the famous thai bird’s eye chilies

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One of the glorious wat’s there are wat’s and wat’s like seriously a lot of wat’s

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A monk stops for lunch from a street vendor


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Hanging dried peppers and shrimp flakes for sale

The Noodle Bowl; Homemade Ramen {Gluten Free}

Add your favorite sauce to my gluten free Noodle Bowl to make it perfect

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Alley ways of Chiang Rai


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A food stall at one of the many night markets

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Soup, glorious coconut soup

Prik Namsom:

  • 1/3 cup pounded red chilies – remove stems and pound with mortar until a powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic – pounded until mashed
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients together and store in a jar in the fridge

Jaew:

  • ¼ cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 1/3 cup fish sauce
  • Juice of one lime
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons of chili seeds – cut open each pod to harvest the seeds

Mix all ingredients together and store in a jar in the fridge

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Keep it spicy,

Marcella Rose

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Marcella Rose began cooking early, learning from her self-taught mom who prepared brilliant meals nightly. At thirteen, cooking on a Ranch, she learned how to get creative in the kitchen. With an eye for the beautiful, a growing palate, and keen organizing skills she soon began hosting parties and catering events. Moving to New York she was graced to have worked with some of the best interior designers in the city. Taking these skills to the Internet with Marcella Rose’s she shares her passion and innovation hoping to inspire the modern woman.

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Comments

  1. Dang! I loved this read! What a fantastic post…and delicious hotness all wrapped up in one!

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