Nam prik pao (Thai chili paste)


  • 3 shallots
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 2-3 dried chilis
  • 3 shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 fresh chili
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp Lemongrass paste
  • Thumb sized piece of ginger
  • Handful of coriander leaves
  • Juice of a lime
  • 1 spring onion
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil


  1. Roast shallots 180C for 10 mins – add garlic and continue roasting for 10 mins.
  2. Lightly toast the dried chilis (I used Ancho or Guauilla & Mulato).
  3. Rinse the dried shitake mushrooms.
  4. Rehydrate the dried chilis and shitake mushrooms by soaking in boiled water for 15 minutes.
  5. Blend the rehydrated chilis to a fine paste.
  6. Blend (everything except the oil) to a paste.
  7. Taste and add sugar or fish sauce.
  8. Heat the oil a large heavy bottom pan over medium heat.
  9. Cook the paste, stirring frequently, until it becomes fragrant and turns dark. This can take about 20 minutes.
  10. Taste one last time and adjust, to taste.

See also

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