Nam Jim or Thai salad dressing is once again that great balance of flavours. The lime juice certainly wakens your mouth but the sourness doesn't make you pucker and hurt in the tonsils, the other ingredients of the palm sugar  and fish sauce softens the potential. At the same time there isn't a tameness to the dressing as the chillie kicks in rather quickly which stimulates chewing to minimise the heat. The garlic, shallot and coriander all add extra dimensions of flavour and the final combination is one of the Asian perfect dressings for salads. A seafood salad, a sausage salad, a grilled beef waterfall salad, a tomato and onion salad with watercress and small pieces of raw Thai aubergines, they all work with this dressing.
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (Vegetarian Fish Sauce can be substituted here)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons palm sugar
  • 2-3 red shallots
  • 3-4 bird’s eye chillies (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (or pounded 1 fresh root)

  1. In a mortar, crush the garlic with the salt, add the coriander and chillies and roughly pound.
  2. Add the sugar, stir in the fish sauce, lime juice and finely chopped shallots.