Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. Makes a small jar of Nam Prik Pao - about 1/2 cup (a little goes a long way!)

  2. 1/4 cup canola or coconut oil, plus a little more to finish (or light vegetable oil of your choice)

  3. 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  4. 2 shallots, finely chopped

  5. dried whole OR crushed red chilies, ground to make 3 Tbsp. powder (you can also use cayenne pepper which is already ground)

  6. 1/2 to 1 tsp. shrimp paste , OR 1 extra Tbsp. fish sauce

  7. 2 Tbsp. fish sauce

  8. 2-3 Tbsp. palm or brown sugar, or more to taste

  9. 1/2 to 1 tsp. tamarind paste (available at Asian or Indian food stores)

  10. 1/2 Tbsp. lime juice

  11. 2 Tbsp. water

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. Preparation Tips: Although traditionally the shallots and garlic are finely chopped by hand, you can also use a food processor for this task. Just be sure not to over-process, or you will end up with a mushy mess. What you want are individual-looking pieces of shallot and garlic.

  2. If Using Whole Dried Chilies: simply place them in a coffee grinder (or food processor) and blitz until you get a powdery consistency.

  3. Heat oil in a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped shallots and garlic, frying until they turn a very light golden brown and slightly crispy (2-3 minutes). Tip: try not to over-brown the garlic, or it will turn bitter.

  4. Remove garlic and shallots with a slotted spoon from the oil and set in a bowl to cool. Leave remaining oil in the pan.

  5. Using a pestle & mortar OR food processor/mini-chopper, combine the prepared chili with the shrimp paste, fish sauce, sugar, tamarind, lime, and water. Also add the fried garlic and shallots.

  6. Pound or process all together to form a thick paste. Return this paste to your frying pan and stir it into the oil over low heat, gently simmering until you get a fairly even consistency. Adjust the consistency by adding a little more water if you find it too thick, or more oil if you prefer a "shinier" sauce.

  7. Adjust the taste, adding more fish sauce if you'd like it saltier, or more sugar if you'd like it sweeter (I usually end up adding another 1/2 Tbsp. of fish sauce and another Tbsp. of brown sugar to mine).

  8. Nam Prik Pao will keep for several months stored in a covered jar in your refrigerator. Use your Nam Prik Pao as an addition to Thai soups, or added as a flavor booster to Thai stir-fries and curry sauces. Also wonderful when stir-fried with seafood, or as an accompaniment to noodles. Enjoy!


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