a modern recipe – half batch in brackets

This a ripper preserve useful for so many things. Fry off some prawns, chuck the sauce in and throw in a handful of Thai basil and coriander, chilli to taste. Heat the sauce throw some fish or squid in stir over, turn the heat off, cover with a lid and rest for 5 minutes.

I always think anything is better when the chilli is cooked rather than added after cooking, but with sauces like this I er on the mild side and serve with additional finely chopped fresh chilli in either soy or fish sauce depending on the dish.

We only ever use stainless steel for making preserves.

AO 6 February 2021 – small edit 11 February, 2021 click here


get this ready first
10kg ripe cooking tomatoes – cored and peeled with a tomato peeler and roughly chopped…..[5kg]

140g peanut oil …..[70g]
40g Thai shrimp paste [can substitute with half the weigh blachan] …..[20g]
1kg p/w brown onions – finely chopped…..[500g]
350g ginger:garlic…..[175g]
10 Thai chillies – finely chopped with seeds…..[5]
1 bunch of lemon grass – 15g finely chopped inner soft part – rest bundle tied…..[8g]
20g Maldon sea salt…..[10g]
20g white pepper, freshly ground…..[10g]
100g p/w galangal – thickly sliced…..[50g] [1]
20 Kaffir lime leaves…..[10]
2 Kaffir limes -finely grated rind and strained juice…..[1] – substitute Tahitian limes if not available

250g palm sugar – chopped or powdered in a Thermomix…..[125g] [2]
120g Mega Chef fish sauce…..[60g]
200g white wine vinegar…..[100g]

You may find if the tomatoes are less sweet and ripe the sauce is rather sharp ….add 200g caster sugar or to taste to maintain that delicious sweet-sour flavour.


Put your pan on medium heat, add the peanut oil and allow it to heat. Add the shrimp paste and stir until is has melted into the oil. Add the onions, ginger garlic and chill and stir until the onions are translucent, then add the chopped lemon grass, Maldon and pepper. Add the prepared tomatoes, galangal, Kaffir lime leaves and palm sugar.

Turn the heat to low and good on a very slow simmer for about 90 minutes. Stir through the lime juice, fish sauce and vinegar. Bring back to 90°C and simmer for 5 minutes then bottle immediately…..please refer to our preserving bible.

Because of the acid in this preserve it is not necessary to further cook the bottled sauce.

AO 6 February 2021

[1] Good galangal is difficult to come by in South Australia, and as much as I buy local wherever possible, unless I can buy good quality I resort to frozen imported.

[2] There are several brands of palm sugar that can be easily powdered in a Thermomix we generally use DEE