Shrimp pastes may vary in appearance from pale liquid sauces to solid chocolate-colored blocks. Shrimp paste produced in Hong Kong and Vietnam is typically a light pinkish gray while the type used for Burmese, Lao, Cambodian, Thai and Indonesian cooking is darker brown. While all shrimp paste has a pungent aroma, that of higher grades is generally milder. Markets near villages producing shrimp paste are the best places to obtain the highest quality product. Shrimp paste varies between different Asian cultures and can vary in smell, texture and saltiness.
In Thailand shrimp paste is an essential ingredient in many types of nam phrik, spicy dips or sauces, and in all Thai curry pastes, such as the paste used in kaeng som. Very popular in Thailand is nam phrik kapi, a spicy condiment made with fresh shrimp paste and most often eaten together with fried pla thu and fried, steamed or raw vegetables. In Southern Thailand there are three types of shrimp paste: one made only from shrimp, one containing a mixture of shrimp and fish ingredients, and another paste that is sweet. 'Nam prik meng daa' is available in Hat Yai and Satul markets. Meng is a night flying bug and its body fluids are pressed and mixed with 'kapi', quite sweet. 'nam prik makaam' is 'kapi' mixed with tamarind, more sour.
Recipe using Terasi see Here
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