Updated: Apr 25, 2021
This is a bold Thai dip, one that pops with all the flavors, sweet, spicy and sour all at the same time. The vegetables serve as a carrier for an explosion of flavor.
This recipe is from Bon Appétit, however, I smoothened the dip a bit by adding some coconut milk and a touch of palm sugar. The trick in making this dip is to get the balance of flavors right, they should complement each other, not drown one another out.
For more recipes from the magazine Bon Appetit, click here.
1 cup raw cashews
6 Thai chiles or 4 Fresno chiles, chopped
2 medium shallots, chopped
1 lemongrass stalk, tough outer layers removed, white and pale green parts coarsely chopped
5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
Finely grated zest from 2 limes (about 3 tsp.)
1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more
3 Tbsp. canola oil
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
8 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved
1 Tbsp. fish sauce (Optional)
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp. coarsely chopped cilantro leaves with tender stems
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons palm sugar or jaggery or brown sugar
Bibb or Little Gem lettuce leaves, sliced cucumbers, sliced mango, boiled eggs, zucchini, radish, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, or other vegetables of your choice (for serving)
Pulse cashews in a food processor until pieces are no larger than ¼". Transfers cashews to a medium bowl (it’s okay if some of the cashews have gone all the way to powder, which will thicken the dip).
Pulse chiles, shallots, lemongrass, garlic, lime zest, and 1 tsp. salt in food processor until very finely chopped. Scrape down sides and continue to pulse until a coarse paste forms. Transfer curry paste to a small bowl.
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium. Add cashews and cook, stirring often, until golden brown in most spots, 4–6 minutes. Add curry paste and cook, stirring often, until slightly darkened, about 3 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, until mixture starts to stick to bottom pot, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and a splash of water and cook, scraping any browned bits that may have stuck to bottom of pot, until tomatoes are completely broken down and mixture is thickened, 7–10 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in fish sauce and lime juice. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt.
Transfer nam prik to a medium bowl. Top with cilantro. Serve nam prik warm with vegetables alongside.