CONDIMENTS ARE THE FUN PART OF FOOD
Con·di·ment (knd-mnt) n.
A substance, such as a relish, vinegar, or spice, used to flavor or complement food.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin condmentum, from condre, to season; see dh- in Indo-European roots.]
Condiments were created for the people who never quite got past the mud pie stage of their lives, the people who want to be able to play with their food, the people who love the mad flavor and of course, the people who aren’t afraid to try something different then the missionary position.
From breakfast to late night snacks condiments have a special place in my heart. They can bring a bit of bread or a pack of mi-goreng noodles to life. They turn a meat patty in a bun into, well, a hamburger. They are shared when important people discuss important things. They can be smeared all over ones girlfriend and then… well that’s up to you is guess.
Let’s face it; Australia was built on a foundation of condiments. Firmly ingrained in our way of life are the tomato sauce and the vegemite. Nowhere else in the world would the inhabitants of a land be called traitors if they didn’t like lamb chops with peas and tomato sauce, or thickly buttered mighty white toast smeared with vegemite. Archeologists are literally able to show us an actual layer of tomato sauce bottles and vegemite jars 20 meters below the Earth’s surface*.
And, during the wave of multi-cultural cooking that has swept our nations taste buds off their feet in the last twenty years (yeah. It’s been like a dream first date), we have been introduced to such life changing events as smoky BBQ sauce, chilli jam, chilli in soy bean oil, Japanese mayonnaise, wasabi, and beer. No, we always had beer. Maybe that’s just when I was introduced to it. And yes, beer is a condiment to me.
RED CHILLI NAM JIM
Nim Jam, as I have seen it called more than once, or, Nam Jim as I like to call it (but that’s just because I can be quite sumpsimus about these types of things) is one of my favorite all time top blokes… And by that I clearly mean condiments and, for me, condiments are one of the funnest parts of having hands and a mouth… Hmmm.
12 long red chilli, deseed** and roughly chop
1 clove garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
60ml fish sauce
200ml lime juice, from fresh limes fool. Don’t even be tempted to use bought lime juice for this one. If you have to use bought lime juice you should just mix it with some store bought sweet chilli sauce and use it as a dipping sauce for your next road house dim sim or dried dog turd
6 coriander roots, washed
0.5 cup light palm sugar
• Smash all of the dry ingredients together in a mortar and pestle or blitz in a food processor
• When you have a smooth-ish paste add the wets and mix well
• It should be hot and sour and salty and slightly sweet. Adjust any seasonings you may need more of
• This is a perfect friend for a green papaya salad, which is a perfect friend for seafood, which is a perfect friend for your mouth, which is a perfect friend for your face, which is a perfect friend for you girlfriends crotch…
*This may or may not be based on any actual facts or evidence.
**Usual rules apply. If you want it hot, leave some or all of the seed in.