Sunday, 14 February 2016

Lime and Soya Dipping Sauce

You know those difficult times when friends visit... and those friends have a lower tolerance of chilli than you... Ayo! This is one of our solutions to the dilemma of what to prepare. The chilli lovers can warm their servings by adding this sauce. Rice, noodles...

There is a personal history behind our lime and soya dipping sauce. This little dish was taught to me as a Thai salad dressing using fish sauce as a base. However, my better half avidly loves preparing and eating Hainanese Chicken Rice. For me, this dish can be a little plain... she would say that I find it unpalatable... though this is an exaggeration... However, I think she is right in that my taste buds have been bombarded over the years with excess chilli, making me less sensitive to the subtle flavours and textures of this famous cuisine.

So, the solution? To spice up the Hainanese Chicken Rice with the Thai salad dressing. Later, I discovered that one of the three sauces of this dish should be a chilli and soya sauce dip. From this point, the mental leap to modifying the original Thai sauce was simple... Firstly, just replace the fish sauce with Chinese soya sauce, following the same principles of balanced sweet, sour and salty flavours. But what about a Malaysian influence? Well, that was easy too! Replace the limau nipis, which is commonly used in Thailand, with limau kasturi, Calamondin. Presto!

These days, we find this to be a useful dipping sauce for spring rolls and other finger food, as well as using it as a dressing for garden salads. Even, barbecued meat!

What you need...                                
·         3 or more small, fresh chillies or more, sliced finely
·         1 tablespoon white sugar or Gula Melaka
·         1/3 cup Chinese-style light soy sauce
·         1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, kasturi lime if you have it
·         2 kasturi limes, halved
·         1/4 cup water, or to taste (optional)
·         Shallots (optional)

What you need to do... 
1. In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, lime juice and sugar. Stir until well blended, and the sugar has dissolved. 
2. Don't forget the principle of agak-agak. Test for taste. Make sure that the sweet, sour and salty flavours are balanced.
3. Add the sliced chillies and the halved limes.
4. Add the water and shallots, if you intend to use these.

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