Nam Prik Long Ruea (meaning "nam Prik dip in the Boat)has many variations depending on the cook and the taste of the person ordering. The basis of the recipe of course, is the "nam prik" (dip sauce), used to either flavour the fried rice or to be the main dip sauce in the case of no rice being used in the recipe. As a dip sauce with fresh crunchy vegetables it is a classic summer dish with a refreshing and healthy aspect. The various fresh vegetables are fascinating to test out mixed with the taste of the nam prik, because each of the different vegetables maintains it's own taste, giving a different result when eaten with the dip sauce. My favourite thing to dip in the nam prik is "Camin" (fresh cumin root), which has an amazing perfumed aroma to it, and a juicy crunchy texture in the mouth. The crunchiness of the vegetables balances perfectly with the smushy smooth dip sauce leaving your taste buds in heaven as you ascend through the realms of flavour sensations and the taste in your mouth gets hotter from the fresh chilies as you munch.
below pic - Madan (Garcinia schomberciana)(Garcinia schomberciana see pic left), or grated green mango, 5 finely sliced "ma-erg" (hairy eggplant, Solanum ferox)
2 tablespoons of lime or lemon juice
25 small "Prik Khee Hnoo" Thai chilies
4-5 tablespoons of "nam Tan beeb" (sugar cane paste)
half a cup of "Hmoo Hwaan" (sweet pork)
one salted egg (called "khai Khem"), 5 Rakam fruits (see below pic)
half a cup of "Pla Duk foo Krop" (crispy fluffed shredded catfish meat - this is made by frying the finely shredded fishmeat, sometimes with breadcrumbs). One tablespoon of vegetable oil or sunflower oil. 3 or 4 lettuce leaves for decoration on the plate. You can choose whichever vegetables you want as your preferred dipping stuff; some good examples are fresh baby bamboo shoots, green beans, white eggplant, boiled okra, baby sweetcorn cobs, carrot and cucumber, and coriander leaves.
mash the garlic, shrimp paste together to a fine paste, add the finely sliced Madan (Garcinia schomberciana) and mix it finely together - add the "rakam" fruit and the "ma-erg" and mix it with your hand or a pestle and mortar to a fine mash.
Put the oil into the "grata" (frying wok), and bring it to a high heat. Add the Nam prik mixture and sautee it, adding the dried shrimps, and sweet pork. Stir whilst frying until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Test the mixture constantly to make sure there remain 3 different flavours separated. Then put the Nam Prik into a bowl, break the salty egg into smaller pieces and place them on top of the bowl of Nam Prik, and sprinke the sweet pork and crispy shredded catfish on the side on the plate . Serve with fresh crude vegetables such as cucumber, cauliflower, carrot, cabbage, baby corn cobs, bamboo shoots, dok kae flowers, , string beans, boiled okra....
Khaw Nam Prik Long Ruea (Special fried rice with nam prik and dipping ingredients)
Another way often seen served in restaurants is "Khaw nam prik Long Ruea"
This can be served using the rather complex classic traditional version of nam prik shown above, or oyu can simly buy some of the wonderful and varied versions of "nam Prik" seen in Thai markets in a bag for 10 baht or so (see below pic), and use that to save time..
these dips are delicious and hand made so are in mo means inferior to your own fresh made version, except that when you make it yourself perhaps you might add more of your favourite ingredients such as shrimps etc, than you might get in the purchased nam prik. The Nam Prik in the pic with the vegetables below is with a simple "Nam prik Num" (young green chili dip) which you can buy in most fresh markets. Easy to make simply grill some young chilies with garlic and lemon some msg powder fish sauce (nam pla) and presto! The Nam Prik Num is not too spicy so people who are a little averse to spicy hot sauces will be able to join you in eating this dish if you use nam prik num. The young chilies are not yet hot, rather have a mild flavour. the garlic lends a really tasty appetizing taste to this one, which i love to eat on it's own with just sticky rice even. i often buy it in 5 or ten baht bags on the markets and sit on the street dipping my sticky rice in the bag.
Here are some pics to instill you with ideas of how to vary the ways you can serve this dish