Technique: Preserving Hot Chiles
Anytime you buy that many hot peppers you have to preserve them somehow. It’s a good opportunity to make a fiery condiment that will serve you well with a variety of foods in the weeks to come.
In Southeast Asia, there are lots of sauces that combine roasted hot chiles, onions and/or garlic with fish sauce. In Thailand there’s nam prik pao—made with dried chiles. In Laos, nam jeow. I find all these super hot and fish-saucy Southeast Asian salsas addictive spooned onto and into just about anything. Heres a basic recipe.
Southeast Asian Roasted Chile Sauce
24 small hot chiles
1/2 cup garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
1 bunch scallions, sliced lengthwise in half
2-3 tablespoons fish sauce (or to taste)
Seed the chiles and roast them in a dry cast iron skillet until charred. Likewise roast the garlic cloves and scallions until soft and beginning to blacken. Another way to do this is to wrap the items in heavy-duty foil packets and roast them directly over the flame of your gas stove. Smash everything together with a mortar and pestle and stir in the fish sauce. This will keep for weeks, refrigerated.