Nam Prik Pao – Thai Chili Condiment

For those of you that love Thai food, there is a condiment, or sauce if you will, known as Nam Prik Pao. Nam prik in Thai commonly refers to a general term for a spicy sauce that is often used as a condiment, or dipping sauce. You can find this sauce at your local Asian market, and there are probably so many different versions, but this is my go to recipe. This Thai dipping sauce is sweet, has some heat, and has this awesome layer of funk that has you using it on so many different foods, whether with eggs, grilled meats, or sauteed vegetables. This is a real winner whether you enjoy Thai or Asian flavors. I simply cannot get enough of it.

Nam Prik Pao Recipe
Nam Prik Pao Recipe

Now I have made some really great sauces in the past, for example nam prik ong, Thai three sauce (to die for), and a couple of my favorites being jeow and nam jim jaew, but this particular one is a bit different, and one to compete with.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of canola oil
  • 1 cup of dried puya chilies, stems and seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup dried morita chiles, stems and seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup dried chile del arbol, stems and seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup tamarind concentrate
  • 3 tbsp palm sugar (or light brown if you do not have palm sugar)
  • 1 whole head of garlic, skins removed
  • 4 whole shallots, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp roasted shrimp paste
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce

Start by taking the seeds out of all of the chilies. I highly recommend you wear kitchen latex gloves during this process. Trust me, and thank me later. Once the seeds and stems have been removed, add them to a large skillet over medium heat, simply to lightly toast them and bring out their essential oils. Be careful not to burn the chilies, so keep stirring them for a few minutes, then place onto a plate for later use.

To the same skillet, add the oil, and toss in the garlic cloves. Cook the garlic, again not to burn it but just until they turn a golden brown. Remove the garlic with a kitchen spider, or slotted spoon, and place them on the same plate as the chilies.

To the same oil, add in the shallots, and cook until they begin to get golden as well. Once golden, remove with a slotted spoon and place these, along with the garlic and chilies to a food processor.  Turn off the heat, but keep the oil in the skillet for future use.

Thai Nam Prik Pao Ingredients
Thai Nam Prik Pao Ingredients

Pulse these in the food processor until you have a nice paste. Scrape down the sides if necessary during this process.

Once you have a paste, add the skillet back on medium heat with the oil, and add the chili paste, shrimp paste, tamarind, fish sauce, and palm sugar. Gently stir, turning down the heat to low, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring throughout that time. Remove from the heat, and spoon into a sealable jar or container and let it cool before placing in the refrigerator.

This nam prik pao is super yummy. Granted when no one is looking I take a small spoonful and eat it, but you can use this condiment to spread on toast, dip pork rinds into, use with soups or stews, or just serve with anything. It’s an awesome condiment, and one that will not only having you get your arsenal of Thai ingredients in line, but one you will love. Hope you enjoy!

Thai Curry Mussels

It was not too long ago when fresh mussels were on sale at one of our local grocery stores. In the past, I typically would buy them frozen, then steam them but as they were fresh, I decided I would go all in. It was my kids last day of school, and I figured I would throw it out there and see if they would be keen on the idea of having them as an end of year celebration. Low and behold they did and I decided to buy a few pounds of mussels. What’s funny is that one of my pickiest of eaters (he’s getting much better) was stoked about eating them. So I arrived home, and got to work. At first I thought I would do a simple wine and butter sauce to steam the mussels in, but then I quickly turned my attention to making a killer Thai curry and coconut broth, introducing something a bit different to them. These Thai curry mussels had just the right amount of heat that did not distract from the flavor of the mussels, and my kid ate a ton of them.

Thai Curry Mussels
Thai Curry Mussels

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 can of Thai green curry paste
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of water
  • 3 lbs fresh mussels

Simple stuff here, and feel free to use other types of curry paste. I used the prik king curry paste from Maesri which is a spicy ginger style of curry paste, and one that I really like, but feel free to use their red or yellow paste if you have that in stock.

To a large pot, large enough to house the mussels, get the heat going on medium heat. Add the canola oil and bring it to a light smoke, only a couple of minutes, then add in the green curry paste. Stir, and cook for a couple of minutes. Next add in the coconut milk, and water, and stir to incorporate and break down the curry paste. Once this comes to a simmer, add in the mussels.

Make sure that all of the mussels are closed, and feel free to scrub off any exterior beard material from the mussels ahead of time should they not already be cleaned.

Thai Curry Mussels
Thai Curry Mussels

Stir the mussels into the coconut curry mixture, then cover, and cook and steam the mussels until they all open up.

Please note, that any mussels that do not open up, then discard.

Once the mussels are all opened, pour the mussels and broth into a large serving bowl and dig in.

Feel free to serve these with some nice crusty bread, or spoon the broth over some cooked jasmine rice.

It was funny watching my oldest go to town on these. He could not stop eating them, and he loved the spice from the broth. These Thai curry mussels were a great way to end the school year that’s for certain. Hope you enjoy!

Chicken Boti

Recently my coworker and I have been eating at a place called Anmol, in Milwaukee. I have only been a few times now, but every time this places delivers in terms of great food. On a recent return, my coworker stated with excitement that he had stopped at one of the local ethnic grocery stores nearby Anmol, and decided to pick up a couple of the sandwich wraps for dinner. With enthusiasm, he said it was a must try, and hence why we decided to head back and try one of their wraps. They offer a handful of different ones, but the one I tried was called chicken boti roll in a paratha. Think of this as the Mexican burrito of Pakistan food. It’s the bomb, and I mean ultra delicious with just the right amount of heat. So what was a man to do? Well, head to the store to pick up some frozen paratha and knock out a chicken boti recipe.

Chicken Boti Recipe
Chicken Boti Recipe

The ingredients are simple and the flavor results are out of this world. Plus, the paratha, well I figure you will stock up on those as well.

Ingredients:

  • 10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup of plain yogurt
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp garlic ginger paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili flakes (more if you want it really spicy)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tbsp salt, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp red food coloring, optional
  • roasted shallots, or red onions
  • paratha, warmed (optional but recommended for a sandwich)

Start by adding everything but the chicken, shallots, and paratha to a mixing bowl large enough to hold the chicken. Give this a good mix, then add in your chicken thighs. Massage the thighs into the mixture, covering all of the thighs in the marinade. Cover and place in the refrigerator, for 4 hours, or overnight (which I did).

The following day, or same for that matter, take the bowl out of the refrigerator, and set it on the counter, letting it come to room temperature.

Chicken Boti Ingredients
Chicken Boti Ingredients

Fire up your grill, or preheat your oven to 375 degrees, It’s up to you.

Place the chicken on the grill, and cook over indirect heat for about 20 minutes, then over direct heat to finish them off until the chicken is nice and tender and cooked through.

During that time, roast off your onions. There is something about those onions that pair perfectly with this chicken. Trust me.

Take the chicken off of the grill (or oven), and chop it up into thin, bite sized pieces. The goal is to shove this chicken boti into a warm paratha, or your favorite wrap, along with some onions, and dig in.

Seriously the result is super tender, a bit spicy, but something you cannot stop eating. These fed my family of five multiple servings and gets even better the following day. What’s not to love about that! I hope you enjoy.

Chicken Boti
Author: 
Recipe type: Poultry
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
Ingredients
  • 10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup of plain yogurt
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp garlic ginger paste
  • 1½ tsp chili flakes (more if you want it really spicy)
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • 1½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tbsp salt, to taste
  • ¼ tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp red food coloring, optional
  • roasted shallots, or red onions
  • paratha, warmed (optional but recommended for a sandwich)
Instructions
  1. Start by adding everything but the chicken, shallots, and paratha to a mixing bowl large enough to hold the chicken. Give this a good mix, then add in your chicken thighs. Massage the thighs into the mixture, covering all of the thighs in the marinade. Cover and place in the refrigerator, for 4 hours, or overnight (which I did).
  2. The following day, or same for that matter, take the bowl out of the refrigerator, and set it on the counter, letting it come to room temperature.
  3. Fire up your grill, or preheat your oven to 375 degrees, It’s up to you.
  4. Place the chicken on the grill, and cook over indirect heat for about 20 minutes, then over direct heat to finish them off until the chicken is nice and tender and cooked through.
  5. During that time, roast off your onions. There is something about those onions that pair perfectly with this chicken. Trust me.
  6. Take the chicken off of the grill (or oven), and chop it up into thin, bite sized pieces. The goal is to shove this chicken boti into a warm paratha, or your favorite wrap, along with some onions, and dig in.

 

Korean Style Cast Iron Potatoes

There’s one cuisine I wish I knew much more about and that is Korean. There are a couple of places in town but I have yet to visit. I’m familiar with some of the dishes, especially kimchi, as well as one of my favorite condiments lately, and that is gochujang. If you have never had gochujang, go out and by a small container of it, and I guarantee you will love it. It’s a funky fermented paste that is so addictive. Mixed in mayonnaise makes you wonder where it has been all of your life. I’m trying to get my wife and kids to enjoy it as much as I do, and this was another attempt. I know they all love crispy potatoes, so I decided to serve these Korean style cast iron potatoes with some grilled meat and see if I could persuade them to love it as much as I do.

Korean Style Cast Iron Potatoes
Korean Style Cast Iron Potatoes

These potatoes are way too easy to make and are packed with awesome flavor, plus they are great for leftovers if you are looking for some great crispy hash of sorts.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 yukon gold potatoes, quartered, and chopped into large chunks
  • 2 tbsp gochujang paste
  • 2 tbsp water
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • cilantro to garnish, optional

Start by parboiling your potatoes, and boil them just until they become fork tender, but not mushy. Once tender, strain the potatoes.

During this time, take the gochujang paste and water, and stir to make a smooth mixture.

Heat a skillet on medium-high heat. Add in the oil, give it a good swirl in the pan. Next add in the potatoes, and cook until they get nice and crispy on the exterior, stirring along the way. Add in the gochujang mixture, and give a good toss. Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the gochujang has been warmed through and coats all of the potatoes.

Shower the potatoes with cilantro, and taste. If you want some salt, which I think potatoes always needs, add it.

Serve immediately. The end result is a great smokey, funky, addictive taste that had me coming back for more. Did my wife and kids love them? That is debatable, but at least they tried. I’ll get them to love this stuff one day, I guarantee it! Hope you enjoy!