Thai Chili Paste (Nam Prik Pao) Recipe
Thai Chili Paste is another condiment or spicy dip, especially served with fried fish, vegetable etc… With a spicy taste, it is suitable for the spicy food lovers.
For me, it’s too difficult to specify if Thai Chili Paste (Nam Prik Pao) is either a condiment or a spicy dipping sauce. Generally Thais add small amount of this paste in many dishes to add a better flavor and more colorful feature. Also, it is an essential condiment in Tom Yum Goong, the most popular one of Thai foods.
With a specific flavor of Thai Chili Paste that is balanced among sour, saltiness and sweetness, also Thais agree that this dish is very spicy. Therefore, it is popularly eaten with vegetable, fried fish, crispy pork rind etc… Dip your fried fish, vegetable or crispy pork rinds with small amount of this paste, Oh! It is extremely yummy.
- 12-15 dried red cayenne peppers, cut into 1-inch length pieces
- 1 cup shallots, peeled, and then cut into small pieces
- 1 cup garlic, peeled, and then cut into small pieces
- 1 cup dried shrimps, ground
- 1 tsp shrimp paste
- 2-3 tbsp fish sauce
- 2-3 tbsp sugar (use palm sugar if available)
- 2-3 tbsp tamarind paste.
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- Set a wok (or a skillet) at low heat. Add dried red cayenne peppers and stir continuously until fragrant. Transfer to a desired bowl and set aside.
- With the same work, add shallots and garlic and keep stirring until brow-yellow and fragrant. Transfer to a desired bowl and set aside.
- With a mortar and a pestle, pound roasted-dried red chili (from step No. 1) until ground.
- Add roasted shallots and roasted garlic (from step No. 2) and pound all contents until ground and combined thoroughly.
- Add dried shrimps and shrimp paste. Then pound all contents until combined thoroughly. Set aside.
- With a wok, heat vegetable oil at low heat. Add the content from step No. 5, fish sauce, sugar and tamarind paste. Then, stir fry until fragrant and viscous.
- Scoop into a serving bowl or keep in a desired container. Serve with fried fish, vegetable or crispy pork rind.
- Step No. 3 and 4 can be done in a food processor or a blender.
- Nowadays, Thai Chili Pastes (Nam Prik Pao) are available everywhere, their trade names always vary up to each manufacturer. Just search them with Chili Paste with Soy Bean, Chili Paste in Oil, Thai Chili Paste… something like these as they are the same products.
- This chili paste can be kept for a long time, put it into your desired container and cover well with a lid. Keep at room temperature.