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Jaew bong

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for Jaew bong

By Lisa Featherby
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 25 mins cooking plus soaking
  • Serves 8
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Jaew bong
This is a spicy and pungent chilli dip; it can be served with steamed fish or grilled meat, raw or cooked vegetables or even steamed sticky rice. Frying the dip isn't traditional, but it helps release the flavours. You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.


  • 10 large red shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 20 gm galangal, coarsely chopped (4cm piece)
  • 1 piece fermented salted mackerel (about 60gm), rinsed
  • 8 dried long red chillies, soaked in warm water overnight, drained
  • 3 long red chillies
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, torn
  • 30 gm tamarind pulp, dissolved in 80ml hot water, strained (solids discarded)
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce, or to taste
  • 20 gm light palm sugar, crushed
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • To serve: snake beans, cabbage, boiled quail eggs, Thai basil, baby cucumbers and preserved banana blossoms


  • 1
    Roast shallot, garlic and galangal in a wok over medium-high heat until fragrant, tender and caramelised (10-15 minutes).
  • 2
    Meanwhile, cover fish with water in a saucepan and bring to the simmer over high heat, cook until fish begins to break apart (1 minute). Drain, discard bones and skin and transfer to a food processor.
  • 3
    Add chillies, lime leaves and roasted ingredients and process to a paste. Add tamarind liquid, fish sauce and palm sugar and process to combine.
  • 4
    Heat oil in a small frying pan over medium-high heat, add paste and fry until fragrant (5-10 minutes). Cool, then serve with accompaniments.