Nam Prik Pao has a rich combination of sweet, smokey, and spicy flavors. The traditional recipes usually include both fish sauce and shrimp paste, making them unacceptable to true vegetarians. This recipe provides you with a lot of the right flavors you would expect in a Thai roasted chili sauce, but without the animals. Nam Prik Pao is used to add spicy flavors to our sour and spicy soups like Tom Yum Goong, but with this version you can now make a delicious vegetarian Tom Yum where you can include vegetables and mushrooms to round out the traditional flavors from lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime.
Yield: 1/2 Cup
Prep time: 20 Minutes
Cooking time: 5 Minutes
Ready in: 45 Minutes
5 -6 Thai Long Chili (sun- dried, then roasted)
5 -6 Sun Dried Thai Hot Chili (sun- dried, then roasted)
3 Garlic (large cloves, roasted)
4 - 5 Red Shallots (small shallots, roasted)
1/4 Cup Peanut (raw peanuts, shells and skins removed)
1 teaspoon Tamarind (tamarind paste)
1 Tablespoon Yellow Soybean Paste
1 1/2 teaspoon Light Soy Sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon Dark Sweet Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Coconut Sugar
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil (Coconut or other oil)
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1: Heat a wok or large frying pan. Lay the chilies, shallots, and garlic (unpeeled) in the pan so they are all touching the heat. The chilies will puff up, crackle, and start to burn. You want them to be at least 50% black charcoal. Remove them when they are, then continue turning the shallots and garlic until they too are getting a little black in some places and softening up a lot.
2: Grind the roasted chilies with salt using a mortar and pestle. When a fine powder is obtained, add new ingredients in this order for the best results: garlic, shallots, peanuts, yellow soybean paste, tamarind paste, light soy sauce, and dark sweet soy sauce. Mix well into a ball of paste.
3: Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan or wok. Scoop the wet paste into the oiled pan. Push and mash the paste into the oil as much as possible. Let it fry for about a minute and get hot, but not burning.
4: Add about 1/4 of water to the pan, stir it into the paste until you have a consistent smooth texture. Allow to cool, then place in a container with a lid. Store in the refrigerator, serve at room temperature.
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