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Spicy Thai Dip with Dried Shrimp
A whole category of Thai food that we rarely see in the United States is the dip a thickish, highly seasoned paste that is often served as an appetizer with crispy wafers made from fried rice

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons Thai shrimp paste
6 large garlic cloves, finely minced
4 small green chilies, stemmed and finely chopped
1/4 cup dried shrimp
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
2 small red chilies, stemmed and finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:
1. Wrap the shrimp paste in aluminum foil. Place a small skillet over moderate heat, and dry-fry the shrimp paste for 5 minutes, until aromatic.
2. In a mortar with a pestle mash the garlic and green chilies until the mixture starts to form a paste. Add the dried shrimp and mash them into the paste until they dissolve. Add the shrimp paste and sugar, and mash well (by now a real paste should be forming). Stir in the lemon juice, nam pla, and red chilies, and mix carefully. Just before serving, add the cilantro.

A whole category of Thai food that we rarely see in the United States is the dip a thickish, highly seasoned paste that is often served as an appetizer with crispy wafers made from fried rice. You can buy rice wafers in Asian stores, or, if you prefer, you can use light and airy Thai shrimp crisps for dipping. Serves 4