I always love homemade pastes as they are fresh, have no preservatives, and no additives. Although, I am not sure if many of you are as keen as I am in making pastes from scratch. Nam Prik Pao can be used as a condiment or dipping sauce or put them into your favourite soup, like Tom Yam or Tom Kha Gai, or even in your stir fried dishes. Its usage is kind of endless. 🙂
After consuming so much Chinese food during the festive period (Chinese New Year), my family was craving for something different. So I went back to making some Thai dishes. I have to specially make this Thai Chilli Jam (Nam Prik Pao) to cook a delicious dish, Thai Spicy Clams with Basil, which I will be sharing in my next post. Look out for it!
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35g dried red chilies; remove some of the seeds*
65g garlic cloves
20g Thai shrimp paste
190g palm sugar, chopped into small pieces
30g dried shrimp
4 tablespoons tamarind juice
4 tablespoons fish sauce
1 cup water
½ cup cooking oil
- Slice the garlic cloves and shallots lengthwise into thin slices. Set aside to dry.
- Soak the dry shrimp. Then drain and set aside.
- Heat up half of the cooking oil and fry the garlic until light brown and crisp; set aside.
- Then fry the shallots, until light brown and crisp; set aside.
- Next, fry the dried shrimp then set aside.
- In a dry pan, toast the dried chilies over medium-low heat until somewhat rubbery and brittle. Just be careful not to burn them.
- In a mortar/food processor, pound/grind all the garlic, shallots, dried shrimp, and dried chilies into a fine paste; set aside.
- Heat up the pan with the oil, which you used earlier, over medium heat.
- Add in the remaining oil.
- Put the paste and the remaining ingredients into the pan. Stir occasionally for about 15 minutes or to the desired consistency. Adjust the seasoning according to taste.
- Cool and then store it in a clean glass jar for later use.
The amount of seeds you add back into the paste when you grind it determines the level of heat. More seeds, more heat.