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Thai Chilli Paste – Nam Prik Pao



Preparation time


Cooking time



A secret weapon in your Thai store cupboard! Add to spice up Tom Yum, Stir-fries, in dips or just spread on some fresh bread! It is packed with classic Thai Umami flavours.


  • 12 Large Dried Red Chillies.
  • 2 tbsp Dried Shrimp (optional).
  • 12 Garlic Cloves, roughly chopped.
  • 6 small Asian Red Shallots, roughly chopped.
  • 2 tbsp Thai Taste Tamarind Paste.
  • 1 tbsp Thai Taste Fish Sauce, or Thai Taste Vegan Fish Sauce.
  • 1 tbsp Thai Taste Palm Sugar.
  • ¼ tsp Thai Taste Shrimp Paste (optional).
  • 60ml cup vegetable oil.

Steps for cooking

  • 1.Slice the chillies in half and try to remove as many of the seeds as possible. Chop the chillies into smaller pieces. On high heat pan-fry the chillies until they start to char on the edges.
  • 2.Add the chillies to a food processor or coffee grinder and grind to a fine powder (or as fine as you can get it). Set aside a bowl. If you are using dried shrimp,grind these down to a fine powder, like the dried chilli, and set aside.
  • 3.In a dry frying pan (or Wok), fry the garlic and shallots on medium-to-high heat until a deep golden colour is achieved. Then move to the food processor.
  • 4.Add the chilli powder, shrimp, tamarind, fish sauce, palm sugar and shrimp paste. Process this to a fine jam consistency. If you are having trouble,as the mixture is too dry,add a splash of oil to blend.
  • 5.Heat your wok to medium heat and add the vegetable oil. Add the combined chilli paste and fry for about 10 minutes. Be careful to not let the paste burn. You will need to keep stirring the mixture until is a deep red colour and a jammy consistency.
  • 6.Transfer the mixture to a sterilised jar and let cool. once fully cooled, it can be kept in your fridge for up to 6 months!




Gluten Free:





Chef’s Tips

this condiment is packed with spicy and umami flavours! Perfect for adding to a spoonful to a variety of South-East Asian dishes!

Did you know?

It’s customary in Thailand to share all the dishes you order with everyone at the table.

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