Top | Comfort Me with Apples
(recipe, Ruth Reichl)
This dish comes from a recipe given to me by a wonderful Thai chef named Boonchoo Pholatawarna. It's street food, the sort of thing that is sold in every Thai market.
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp. Asian fish sauce
- 2 tsp. finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
- 2 Tbsp. roasted salted peanuts, finely chopped
- ¼ cup unsweetened (desiccated) shredded coconut, toasted
- ¼ cup small dried shrimp (see Note)
- ½ cup unsweetened (desiccated) shredded coconut, toasted
- ¼ cup finely chopped shallot or red onion
- ¼ cup finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
- ¼ cup roasted salted peanuts, chopped
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh small Asian chiles or serrano chiles, seeded if desired
- 1 lime, cut into thin wedges
- 1 head butter lettuce, leaves separated (see Note)
- Whisk together the water and sugar in a heavy small saucepan and boil, stirring occasionally, until reduced to ½ cup, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the fish sauce, ginger, peanuts, and coconut. Transfer to a serving bowl.
- Arrange all the remaining ingredients in separate mounds on one platter.
- To eat, each diner fills a lettuce leaf with some of each condiment, then squeezes lime juice over it and drizzles it with the syrup before folding the leaf over the filling to form a neat little bundle.
Culinate editor's notes: Tiny dried shrimp are available at any Asian grocery store. You can also use small or medium-sized spinach leaves instead of butter lettuce.