Crush the chiles in a mortar, or use the side of a cleaver or chef’s knife to crush them on a cutting board. Slice each one crosswise into 3 or 4 pieces. Place in a bowl with the water and salt and set aside to soak until ready to serve.
A friend and I ate another memorable butterfish dish, this one at a restaurant in Rangoon called Aung Thu Daw. It was milder, without chile oil or green chile paste. Instead, the fish was cooked with tart local greens, a great pairing. I substitute sorrel or sawtooth herb for the tart local greens used in the original.
Omit the chile oil and green chile paste, and increase the peanut oil to 3 table-spoons. When the shallots and garlic are softened, toss in
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