Nam prik pao (Thai chili paste)


  • 2-3 dried chilis
  • 1 fresh chili
  • 3 shallots
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 3 shiitake mushrooms
  • 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 the garlic, and shallots 180C for 10 mins – remove garlic 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, 6 to 8 minutes. Add a splash of water if it starts to burn or a little more oil if it starts to stick.
  10. Taste one last time and adjust, to taste.

See also

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