All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Chiri in oiru / nam prik pao / Thai red chili paste

An oily paste similar to the XO sauce found in Chinese dishes, nam prik pao perks up any dish. It is spicy yet somehow sweet and mild all at the same time. The complexity largely comes from shami dried shrimp and kapi fermented shrimp paste. Nam prik pao also contains tamarind paste, which accounts for its subtle sweet-sour fruitiness.


120 cc oil
15 g dried red chili peppers
3-4 medium garlic cloves (15 g in photo)
1 shallot (20 g in photo)
30 g shami dried shrimp
1 tsp kapi shrimp paste
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp nam pla fish sauce
1 tsp tamarind paste


Finely chop shallot, garlic and shami.

Cut red chili peppers with scissors, and remove seeds.

Toast red chili peppers in a frying pan (without oil) on medium heat until fragrant.
Coarsely grind or chop.


In a frying pan, heat oil.
While oil is still cool, add shallot and garlic, and fry for several minutes until very lightly colored. 
Stir occasionally. 


Add red chili peppers and shami, and fry for 5+ minutes until brown.
Stir occasionally.


Transfer to a heat-resistant container as necessary.
Add nam pla, brown sugar and kapi.

Grind, puree or mash.
Let cool.


When cool, add tamarind paste, and mix well.

Keep in a sealed jar.

  • Shallot is a substitute for hom daeng (small Thai shallots).
  • Brown sugar is a substitute for palm sugar.

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