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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Chili-salt, a fruit booster

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Three simple ingredients that do amazing things to fruits: fresh chili, salt, and sugar, simply mixed together.  If you've been to Thailand, I'm sure you've seen this trilogy before.  You get them in little paper packets with every piece of fruit you buy off one of those carts on the street.

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They are wonderful on sweet fruits, adding an interesting layer of flavors that take it beyond simple sweetness.  They are even better on fruits that are slightly acidic--the salt and sugar taming the acidity and the chili giving it a kick that make everything even better.  It's so easy, and so crazy good.  You simply must try it.

Thai Chili-Salt, Prik-kab-klua

2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
1-2 fresh red chili

Put all the ingredients in a small mortar and grind everything together.  The red chili will tint the entire mixture a lovely shade of light pinkish orange, and the moisture from it will turn everything the texture of wet sand.  Serve along side fresh fruits cut into bite size pieces (so no one double dips on you!)

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Try it with tart green apple, or with crunchy green mango.  It even works well to revive those not so sweet mangoes you get from the grocery stores.  Toss a bit into a bowl of early-season tart berries.  Even dip a juicy chunk of perfectly sweet watermelon into it for just a little change of scenery.

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