Are you a condiment hoarder? Do bottles of sauce take up more space in your refrigerator than “real food”? If you answered yes, you’ve come to the right place, if you answered “Not yet!” even better – you still have room on the shelf! Have I got a treat for your tastebuds…
This sauce is SOOOO delicious you’ll wonder where it’s been all your life – but you’ll have to go adventuring first, and track down your local Chinese market – a hidden gem in a sea of brand name grocery stores. The reason is because your local grocer is unlikely to sell Tamarind Paste, the Fish Sauce can probably be found in the Asian aisle however, but your Chinese market will definitely have both. Here’s your shopping list:
1/4 cup rice vinegar (not the one with sugar aided, you want the plain one)
1/4 cup tamarind paste
2 Tb fish sauce
2 TB dark brown sugar (packed into the spoon and level)
1 TB vegetable or canola oil
2 garlic cloves finely minced
optional: 2 thai chilies finely minced
The process is simple enough, combine all the ingredients above stirring well. Let sit at room temperature about 2 hours so all the flavors fully develop and get to know each other. In the photo above the colorful “crackers” are shrimp chips also purchasable at an Asian market. Made of shrimp paste, tapioca flour and water, these chips are dried to a hard almost translucent consistency, the frying process in your kitchen puffs them to the wonderful little crispy treats you see above. Well worth the time believe me!
But if you’re not into shrimp chips, this lovely sauce can be used with wontons, egg rolls or anything else in your snackie go-to list that serves as a conduit for an Asian dipping sauce. As that little “shrimp” of a kid Mickey used to say, try it – you’ll like it!