Spring has finally arrive in the Twin Cities. Some celebrate spring by cooking with the usual spring arrivals such as asparagus, carrots, leeks, etc. I celebrate spring by eating baby green sour mangoes with a special fruit dip! As my bff would tell me, “Savy, you’re so Asian!”. HA!
Don’t get me wrong, I love a sweet juicy mango just as much as the next guy, but I also grew up eating sour (believe me, they are super sour!) unripped green mangoes. I remembered one of our past time, living in the immigrant filled apartments in old East Dallas, young and old would gather on a mat and we would eat sour fruits with the yummiest and stinkiest dipping sauce. We pass around slices of green mangoes, green granny smith apples, crabapples (also a personal favorite), pickled gooseberry, etc. and I would sit and listen to the latest gossips among the adults. Though the fruits varied, the dipping sauce remained the same. The dipping sauce is everything….The flavors of sour fruits with a sweet, salty, savory, and spicy dipping sauce all blended together somehow just work.
Before I go into the recipes, you have been warned. This sauce is super stinky. Don’t eat it if you’re planning to make out with someone HAHA. Also, don’t eat this during the weekday. I’m telling you this because I care about you. You will be running to the restroom at work. Think of it as a detox during the weekend HAHA!
I will show you how to make two dips today. Just cause I’m that nice. I’m making a shrimp paste/fish powder dipping sauce (dteuk ka pik) and a dry salt and thai pepper dip (bel ma thay).
Cambodian Fruit Dip – ‘dteuk Ka Pik’
Shrimp paste/fish powder dipping sauce (dteuk ka pik)
- 1 tsp shrimp paste,
- 1 Tablespoon fish powder with chili
- 1 tsp sugar
- Chili pepper (quantity is personal preference, how much heat can you handle?)
- 1 tsp of fish sauce
- Sliced shallots
Place ingredients in small bowl, pour about 3-4 Tablespoon of hot water into the bowl (less water if you want a thicker sauce), and mix. Add about a tsp of fish sauce to the sauce, taste, and adjust to preference. When it’s to your liking, topped with sliced shallots.
Dry salt and thai pepper dip (bel ma thay)
- Thai chili pepper (2 was hot enough for me)
- 3 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- a little msg (optional)
Place everything into your mortar and pestle. Pound, pound, pound until ingredients are mixed and you a nice sunset color for your dip. It’s that easy. Again, adjust flavor to your liking. I like mines on the salty side for my fruits.
Serve with fruits of your choice. Sour green mangos, sour green apples, pineapple, gooseberry, etc.