Phet Schwader of Khe-Yo in New York says this Laotian sauce is all about balance. Think of it as a spicy, sweet and sour condiment to top everything: your rice, ramen, meats and roasted vegetables.
The hefty amount of garlic and Thai chiles give it a loud personality, but then it immediately finds harmony from sugar and lime juice. If you can't find Thai chiles, Schwader recommends you replace them with jalapeños or serranos.
To learn more, read "Bang Bang!"
Bang Bang Sauce (Laotian Sour Sauce)
Recipe adapted from Phet Schwader, Khe-Yo, New York, NY
Yield: ¾ cup sauce
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: N/A
Total Time: 10 minutes
8 to 10 fresh Thai chiles, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
3 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons lime juice (2 to 3 limes)
4 tablespoons fish sauce
4 cilantro sprigs, stems and leaves roughly chopped
Using a mortar and pestle, crush the Thai chiles, garlic and sugar until a rough paste forms, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and fish sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more of any of the ingredients until the sauce is balanced. Stir in the cilantro and serve.