Jaew Bong (Anchovy dip)

This is a traditional Isan [North East Thailand] dip for barbequed meals, steamed fish and vegetable dishes. The traditional method of cooking the anchovies is as shown below: if you prefer you can wrap them in aluminum foil and roast them in a medium oven for 15 minutes. You can also remove the heads and backbones first. You can also use tinned anchovies (drain and use - they are already cooked).

  • 1 pound of anchovies
  • ½  cup lemon grass
  • ½  cup shallots, chopped
  • ½  cup galangal chopped
  • 3 tbsp chilis sliced
  • ½ cup of tamarind juice (or rice vinegar)
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
  • 3 tbsp of garlic, sliced

  1. Wrap the anchovies in banana leaves, and place on the embers of a charcoal brazier until the leaf blackens.
  2. Remove from the fire and unwrap.
  3. Discard the heads and backbones of the fish.
  4. Combine all the ingredients in a mortar and pestle or food processor.
  5. Serve with fresh vegetables.
  6. Can keep for about 3 weeks in refrigerated.