Cucumbers With Sweet Sauce
Cucumbers with sweet sauce, cilantro, fried shallots, garlic & chilies. An excellent party dish or appetizer!
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced garlic
- 1 cup thinly sliced shallots
- 1/2 cup small dried chilies, cut into thirds
- 10 thai-size cucumbers
- 2 cups coriander leaves
- 2 cups tamarind paste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup palm sugar
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 5 small raw shrimp
- Cut the shallots & garlic into thin slices. Cut the dried chilis into thirds and set aside.
- Add the oil to your pan and heat to high. When the oil is very hot, add the garlic first. Stir constantly so it cooks evenly. Pull the garlic out when it’s medium brown. Do not overcook because it will taste bitter. Set aside in a bowl and give the garlic a sniff. It should smell fragrant and not burned or bitter. Repeat with the shallots, and finally the chilies. The chilies have no water, so they cook very fast, so make sure you don’t burn them! You fry the chilies last in the oil so that the garlic & shallots are not spicy. Do not throw away the oil.
- Add the tamarind paste to another pan with the salt. Add the leftover oil from step 2 to the tamarind paste. Stir, then strain back into the other pan. You want to strain out all the chili seeds and tamarind bits.
- Put the mixture on medium high and add the palm sugar & fish sauce. Boil until it’s been reduced by half. The finished sauce should be thick like the ketchup.
- When the mixture is at the right thickness, add the shrimp. When the shrimp are fully cooked, take off heat.
- To serve: Slice cucumbers into thirds, lengthwise. Top with cilantro leaves, sauce & fried chilies, garlic and shallots.
Use good quality fish sauce for this recipe, otherwise the sauce will taste really fishy. Naam Plaa Waan is traditionally eaten with 'Pak Sa-daw' the vegetable shown on the right. It's extremely bitter, and impossible to find outside of Thailand. We substituted cucumbers & cilantro instead.