Tamarind dipping sauce recipe


This sour, salty, sweet and a little spicy tamarind dipping sauce is excellent for serving as accompaniment for many Thai grills and barbecues.

Every morning, a scene of a middle-aged lady with her busy hands, preparing her moo ping, i.e. grilled pork skewers, sticky rice and an excellent dipping sauce to her customer. This dipping sauce is made with tamarind paste providing predominantly a mellow sourness. Its taste has a wonderful balance of sourness, saltiness, sweetness and a little spiciness. It is also a good accompaniment for gai yang, a barbecued chicken leg quarter that is also one of Thai popular street food.



  1. In a dry frying pan, Toasted the shallots and garlic cloves over low-medium heat. Stir often for 5 minutes, or until cooked and slightly charred. Removed from heat. Peel their skins.
  2. Pound the toasted shallots and toasted garlic cloves with a mortar and pestle until a paste is formed.
  3. Transfer the paste into a saucepan, add tamarind paste, fish sauce and palm sugar, stir to mix and then bring to a boil over low-medium heat. Cook and stir occasionally until the palm sugar is dissolved and the sauce is slightly thick. Turn off heat.
  4. Stir in the crushed chili.

Tip: The sauce should be salty, sour, sweet and a little spicy.


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