Three Best Friends
สามสหาย – Saam Saahai
To consider oneself a Thai cook, one should understand the fundamentals of Kratiem Prik Thai—garlic-black pepper-cilantro root seasoning paste. Like Nam Prik or chili dip, it is a truly Thai invention without any influences from neighboring countries. Like the classic pesto sauce that originated in Genoa in the Liguria region of northern Italy, Kratiem Prik Thai is a classic Thai culinary seasoning that has been around for as long as the existence of Siam.
Pounding a mortar and pestle to make a Kratiem Prik Thai paste is a classic Thai culinary technique, and this paste is prepared practically everyday in every Thai kitchen where it serves as a seasoning for any meat or seafood. There is no need for more herbs than just this awesome three: garlic, black pepper and cilantro root. I like to call them the “three best friends” or, in Thai, สามสหาย – Saam Saahai. They often appear together in Thai recipes. Like The Three Musketeers, they are”All for one, one for all.”
Garlic – Black Pepper – Cilantro Root
Kratiem – Prik Thai- Rark Puk Chee
กระเทียม – พริกไทยดำ – รากผักชี
The Kratiem Prik Thai paste is simply made with just the three main ingredients of garlic, black pepper and cilantro. When balanced with salty and sweet from soy sauce and brown sugar, they deepen the flavor of grilled meat, appetizers, meat patties for soup, or marinades for meat before deep-frying. Then sweet chili sauce and Sriracha hot sauce may be served alongside the meat with a vegetable condiment. I hope you have a chance to learn how to make the Kratiem Prik Thai paste below and experiment with it in your cooking at home, from marinating your steak to adding it into a meat patty or simply sauteing it with seafood for a quick and easy main dish.
Place garlic, black pepper and cilantro roots in a mortar.
With pestle, pound garlic, black pepper and cilantro root in a medium-size mortar
until it forms a fine paste, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add brown sugar and soy sauce and stir in circular motion with pestle until it is well-blended and smooth.
Thai Basic Seasoning Paste
กระเทียม – พริกไทยดำ – รากผักชี
This recipe makes a large quantity. You can store it in the refrigerator and use it as needed, or freeze it in convenient quantities in an ice cube tray. Use 2 tablespoons of the finished paste per pound of meat or seafood as a marinade before grilling or frying. You can also use it as a basic seasoning paste in ground meats cooked for Thai appetizers. Please click on the photo for a link to a recipe for using the paste with seafood or shrimp.Yield: 1/2 cup 1 tablespoon black pepper corns, or more 10 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 8 cilantro roots or 4 tablespoons chopped cilantro stems 6 tablespoons soy sauce 1 to 2 tablespoons brown sugar Place garlic, black pepper and cilantro roots in a medium size mortar. With pestle, pound the ingredients until they form a fine paste, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add brown sugar and soy sauce and stir in circular motion with the pestle until it well-blended and smooth. Store in a mason jar in the refrigerator for a week, or freeze for up to 6 months. Please see suggestion above on how to incorporate this seasoning paste in your cooking. Alternative preparation method: Place garlic, black pepper, cilantro roots, soy sauce and sugar in a blender and blend until it reaches the desired texture. I like the consistency shown above which still maintains a little texture. Note: Please wait to see my next post when I will discuss in depth how to incorporate Kratiem Prik Thai Rark Puk Chee seasoning in your daily cooking. © 2012 Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen I Love Thai cooking Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area. Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com
- Pranee’s Garlic Pepper Prawn (ilovethaicooking.wordpress.com)
- Amazing Heath Benefits Black Pepper (yahoo.com)