Thai Food: Thai Recipes
This week I am making one of my favorite and easy Thai Recipes, Nam Prig Pad the famous Thai chili sauce/paste that is used in Thai Food cooking and it’s also famous for causing a terror alert in Soho, London England sometime back in 2007 when a Thai restaurant was making it’s own Thai Nam Prik Pad. The smell of the burning chili peppers set someone off and they contacted the authorities and off the cops went only to find a humble restaurant making their own chili paste! Now if that won’t make chili paste famous I don’t know what will? Why am I making Nam Prig Pad you ask? Well I guess by this point that many of you that visit my blog know that I LOVE Thai Food and I love to work with Thai Recipes. I love the flavors of Southeast Asia, Thailand, Viet Nam etc. I find that Thai Food has a certain versatility and interchangeability that food from other cultures doesn’t have in my humble opinion. The flavors! The aroma’s! Oh man! Just can’t be beat! Well I do a fair amount of Thai Recipes and other Asian dishes on this blog of mine and I always try to add my own twist to the recipes I make. Last week I made another of my favorite Thai Recipes called Thai Pad Cha which is one of my favorite Thai Recipes. It’s a seafood Thai dish. The dish uses a sauce combination of soy sauce, oyster sauce and fish sauce. I thought to myself that this was going to really salty so I decided to substitute Nam Prig Pad in place of the oyster sauce. So I used the Nam Prig Pad and then during this last week I received about 15 email from people asking me to make Nam Prig Pad on my Youtube channel. So I did! Nam Prig Pad is good in so many Thai Recipes but, it give many other foods a great flavor as well. Nam Prig Pad makes a delicious BBQ sauce and makes for a KILLER grilled cheese sandwich! No really! Try it!
Thai chili paste or Nam Prig Pad is the paste that is very often used in Tom Yum Goong soup and other Thai Food. It is usually a dark brown to black chili paste from Thailand. The color of the chili paste depends on how much your roast your chili peppers. There are many Thai Recipes for Nam Prik Pad but the base of the recipe is garlic, shallots, and dry chili peppers some salt and sugar usually palm sugar and in some cases there is the addition of tamarind paste, shrimp paste and dried shrimp. You can buy tamarind paste in your local Asian market in a jar or in block form but just make sure that when you buy the tamarind that it is only tamarind and water with no other ingredients in it. If you can’t find it at your local market you can get it here online.
From what I am to glean in my research about Thai Food is that what I was calling Nam Prik Pad/Pao which is how I learned to call this Thai food mixture is actually supposed to be called Nam Prig Pad! Pad means stir fried. In Nam Prig Pad the ingredients are meant to be grilled and then ground up and then fried in oil and some sugar is added. The sugar acts as a kind of preservative and that is why Nam Prig Pad can last for months on your counter top. On the other hand Nam Prig Pow is when the ingredients are grilled and then ground rather than ground and then stir fried. Most Nam Prig Pow in jars are just the ingredients of Nam Prig Pow being fried and having sugar added to it and that’s that! The problem is that most people including me have used the name Nam Prig Pow and Nam Prig Pad as meaning the same thing in Thai Recipes and it’s not! Lesson learned! Another interesting fact about Nam Prig Pow is that in many places it’s called Nam Prig Dang or red chili paste because of the deep reddish color that comes from the redness of the chili peppers. There are many varieties of Nam Prig Pad that you can get in jars at the local Asian market but in the last year I have gotten into making my own style of Thai Recipes of Nam Prig Pad. Some smoother than others. Some browner than others. Some more rustic than others.
I have made the standard Thai recipes of Nam Prig Pad using the chili peppers, sugar, garlic, shallots, shrimp paste and dried shrimps. As I stated there are many ways to accomplish making Nam Prig Pad. I have also made it with dried squid, dried scallops and dried cuttlefish. This week I am just going to show you how to make one of the standard Thai Recipe of Nam Prig Pad with just a couple of additions and changes. These changes are as follows. I am going to be using Molasses instead of palm sugar or brown sugar. I mean brown sugar is just sugar with molasses added to it anyway! Palm sugar is sweet and brown sugar is sweet and imparts that sweetness to the Nam Prig Pad. Molasses on the other hand is already dark in color and will impart some darkness and richness to the Nam Prig Pad and will also all more depth to the sweetness and in my opinion more character. I will also be adding some lime juice as a preservative and some cooked lemongrass to the mix as well. So if you love Thai Food as much as I do then sit tight and enjoy the video!