Yum Tawai is originally from the Tawai people (a group of people that belong to a Tibetan-Burmese tribe) before they migrated to Thailand in King Rama the first period. The dish was previously served in noble Thai house holds and takes extensive time for preparation. Very delicate knife work needs to be done for preparing the meat, finely cutting the vegetables, slicing and frying red shallots, making the fresh curry paste and freshly squeezing the coconut milk.
There are different styles and versions of the sauce throughout Thai culinary history. I choose this particular recipe because the smoked dried fish powder used to make the sauce has more depth. This recipe adds another layer of umami with ground dried shrimp. And the roasting of the ingredients before making the paste add another smoky flavor smoky/nutty dimension to the dish. This is than contrasted with crunchy vegetables to give texture.
This recipe is inspired from Sai Yaowapa cookbook 1935 AD
Yum Tawai (ยำทวาย)
Dry roast the dried long red chilli, red onion and garlic in the wok on low heat until a little charred and colored. Then pound them together until they become a fine paste in a mortar and pestle.
Heat the vegetable oil in a pot then add the paste and fry for about 5 minutes over a medium low heat until fragrant. Then add grounded dry shrimp and smoked dried bronze featherback fish powder. Keep stirring for a few minute then season with palm sugar, tamarind juice, fish sauce and salt. Then add coconut milk and stir through, the taste should be sour, salty and sweet then set aside.
Boil coconut milk then quickly blanch vegetables 1 type at the time, start from snake bean then set aside. Then morning glory then banana flower, bean sprout.
Put the sliced or shredded chicken (about 4mm wide) and all the vegetables except the rose apple in the mixing bowl then add half of the sauce and gently mix. Then put the other half of the sauce on the plate. Place the salad from the bowl on top, then add the rose apple and garnish with fried shallot and toasted white sesame seed.