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Markets & Stores

Chicago Area Thai

Thai Grocery: Nam Prik Ong

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Thai Grocery: Nam Prik Ong

Erik M. | Feb 20, 2004 09:46 AM

This guy should put me on the payroll, given all that I've said about the place...

Yesterday, the owner's wife processed a batch of nam prik ong. It is in small plastic containers on top of the takeaway counter, in the back. It is labeled "ong chili sauce," and it is priced, like the other nam priks, at three dollars. The ingredient list is "water, ground pork, red curry, kaffir lime leaves, salt, sugar, tomato."

For those that may not know, nam prik ong is a "dip," of sorts, and is usually served as a main course, accompanied by various blanched/raw vegetables, as well as pork skins. [Vegetable accompaniments might include snake beans, wedges of cabbage, baby corn, squash, asparagus spears, etc.] The main ingredient is fatty minced pork, and the dish generally has a sweet/sour/salty profile, which comes from sugar, tomato, tamarind, and fish sauce.

Thai Grocery's version is quite good. I suspect that they use a commercial curry paste, which, I think, makes it very approachable and "familiar," in its own way.

This dish is not made in many restaurant kitchens in this town, and there are even less that have it on the menu. That is why I'm making note of it. If you try it, I'd suggest picking up some of the storemade pork skins, as well as several traditional vegetables, as well.

Erik M.

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