Shrimp Paste

Shrimp Paste: gkabi

Shrimp Paste, or gkabi, is created by finely grinding fermented shrimp with salt. This paste has a particularly compelling fishy smell, and is used to season dishes. It cannot be over-stated: this product of Thai cooking is undeniably wretched-smelling, although there are a few brands out there that have a more pleasant, roasted shrimp smell. That said, when combined with other elements, this paste is delightfully tasty.

Chocked full of protein and B vitamins, shrimp paste is a key ingredient in making curry and chili pastes for many Thai recipes, and when crushed and mixed in with a variety of other spices, this foul-smelling ingredient can actually create an amazingly tasty concoction. When cooked into food, shrimp paste can give a wonderful shrimp flavor to any dish, dipping sauce, vegetable dish, or fried fish platter. You can buy gkapi in a small plastic containers or glass jars from your local Asian market. Look for a brand that contains only shrimp and salt, and has a color ranging from pink to gray to dark brown.

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