This is another handy sauce from Amy Wong’s Savoury Sauces: Favourite Cooking Hacks, which I bought in Penang a few years ago.
But there are more than three flavours at work in this sauce. There is sweet from Thai sweet chili sauce and sugar; sour, from tamarind paste; spicy from fresh red chilies; salty/umami from Chinese bean paste; lemony from lemongrass; and garlicky from a lot of garlic.
The ingredients are all listed by weight, so having a small digital scale will make it easier. (If you can, default to the metric measurements given in case I have screwed up the conversion to standard measurements.)
Once you have collected the ingredients and blended them, you have just two steps to do. Pretty easy. I made a half batch of the recipe to try it out, and ended up with about 2 pints (4 cups) of sauce:
Amy Wong’s Three-Flavour Sauce
90g / 3.2oz fresh red chilies, blended
- 125g / 4.4oz lemongrass, blended or pounded
- 100g / 3.5oz garlic, blended
- 150g / 5.3oz bean paste
- 250ml / 1c oil
- 200g / 7oz Thai chili sauce
- 150g / 5.3oz tamarind paste, mixed with 250ml / 1c of water
- 50g / 1/4c chicken stock powder
- 90g / 1/2c sugar
- 1.5T white vinegar
- Heat the oil in a wok and stir-fry all the ingredients over low heat until fragrant.
- Add the tamarind water and the seasonings and bring to a boil.
Since I didn’t have any stock powder and generally avoid stuff like that, I just added some homemade chicken stock that I had in the freezer. You could also use vegetable stock or veggie stock powder if you want to keep it vegetarian/vegan.
How to Use It
In her book, Amy Wong has a few example recipes for how to use this sauce, among others, one with steamed enoki mushrooms and fish, another stir-fried with spare ribs and tomatoes.
I’ve found it makes a great Pad Thai noodles sauce with the addition of a bit of fish sauce.
Tonight I broiled some eggplant slices after brushing them with oil, then topped them with a couple of pan-fried salmon fillets, and then poured some heated up 3-flavour sauce over it. Yumm!