Nam Prik Pao – Thai Chilli Paste

Nam Prik Pao

Nam Prik Pao is a Thai condiment made with fresh or dry chillies, garlic, shallots, fish paste or fish sauce and a sour element such as lime juice or tamarind. The aromatic and intense flavour makes it a perfect accompaniment to slightly blander dishes (breakfast omelette, steamed rice, steamed vegetables etc). Whilst not traditional, this recipe uses gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes), a great ingredient for adding spice and colour to dishes.

Once prepared, this chilli paste will keep well in the fridge for around 10 days and will taste best from day 3 onwards.

Nam Prik Pao (Thai Chilli Paste)
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: nam prik pao
  • 3 tbsps vegetable oil
  • 4 shallots finely chopped
  • 6 garlic clove minced
  • 1 1/2 tbps soft dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • Dash light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsps gochugaru red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp tamarind paste
  1. Add oil to a hot wok over a medium heat.  Add the chopped shallots.  Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.

  2. Add the minced garlic.  Mix well and stir-fry until the shallots and garlic begin to brown, around 3-4 minutes.

  3. Add dark brown sugar, water, fish sauce, light soy sauce & gochugaru red pepper flakes.  Mix well and stir-fry for 2 minutes.

  4. Add 1/2 teaspoon tamarind paste.  Mix well and stir-fry for a further 1 minute until aromatic.  Set aside to cool completely.


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