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 Lemongrass Chicken

It’s official, well it’s been official, it’s finally grilling season in Wisconsin. Not that I haven’t been grilling all year long, but the weather is finally getting a lot more nice in Wisconsin. So this past Mother’s day weekend was full of cooking for my loved one(s). As we progressed into the weekend, I decided to use up a bag of frozen lemongrass I had. I’m trying to purge my freezer and use up lots of yummy leftovers. As I was thinking of what to make with the lemongrass (I always have Thai on my mind when it comes to lemongrass), I decided on making a lemongrass infused oil, and use that for grilling a spatchcocked whole chicken. The lemongrass infused oil was phenomenal, but a simple marinade was also created to make this Thai lemongrass chicken even better.

Thai Lemongrass Grilled Chicken Recipe
Thai Lemongrass Grilled Chicken Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients for the lemongrass oil:

  • 3 stalks lemongrass, bottom half only, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic

Ingredients for the Thai Lemongrass Chicken:

  • 1 whole chicken, backbone removed
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • small handful of cilantro roots, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 3 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish

Start by marinating your chicken. To a small mixing bowl, add in the ingredients for the Thai lemongrass chicken, with the exception of the chicken, and mix well. Rub the marinade all over the chicken. Cover and place into the refrigerator, at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.

During this time, make the lemongrass infused oil.

Lemongrass Chicken Ingredients
Lemongrass Chicken Ingredients

To a food processor, add the lemongrass. Pulse and blend until you have broken down the lemongrass. Take a good smell. I love that smell.

Heat a small pot on medium-low heat, add in the oil, and add in the shredded lemongrass and garlic. Cook this on medium low heat for about 40 minutes. Then strain the oil into a container. Reserve for grilling, and for later use.

Before grilling, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and set it on the counter, allowing it to take the chill off.

Heat up your grill. Again, I use charcoal and some wood chunks, but use what you got. The goal is to cook it over indirect heat as you do not want a burnt chicken. So when you are ready, set the chicken on the grill grate, and cook for about 40 minutes, brushing with the lemongrass infused oil during the grill period. Cook until your meat thermometer reads a safe temperature.

Thai Lemongrass Chicken
Thai Lemongrass Chicken

Plate, and shower with sliced green onions and additional cilantro if desired.

The end result is really, really great chicken. You are left with not only a garlic flavored chicken, but one that has the subtle hints of a lemon-lime and ginger flavor from the awesome lemongrass infused oil. It was a hit, and a great start to the weekend. Hope you enjoy!

Thai Lemongrass Chicken
Author: 
Recipe type: Chicken
Cuisine: Thai
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • Ingredients for the lemongrass oil:
  • 3 stalks lemongrass, bottom half only, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Ingredients for the Thai Lemongrass Chicken:
  • 1 whole chicken, backbone removed
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • small handful of cilantro roots, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 3 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Start by marinating your chicken. To a small mixing bowl, add in the ingredients for the Thai lemongrass chicken, with the exception of the chicken, and mix well. Rub the marinade all over the chicken. Cover and place into the refrigerator, at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
  2. During this time, make the lemongrass infused oil.
  3. To a food processor, add the lemongrass. Pulse and blend until you have broken down the lemongrass. Take a good smell. I love that smell.
  4. Heat a small pot on medium-low heat, add in the oil, and add in the shredded lemongrass. Cook this on medium low heat for about 40 minutes. Then strain the oil into a container. Reserve for grilling, and for later use.
  5. Before grilling, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and set it on the counter, allowing it to take the chill off.
  6. Heat up your grill. Again, I use charcoal and some wood chunks, but use what you got. The goal is to cook it over indirect heat as you do not want a burnt chicken. So when you are ready, set the chicken on the grill grate, and cook for about 40 minutes, brushing with the lemongrass infused oil during the grill period. Cook until your meat thermometer reads a safe temperature.
  7. Plate, and shower with sliced green onions and additional cilantro if desired.

 

Thai Larb Fried Rice

Have you ever made, or tried Thai larb? Some refer to it as laap, lap, lahb, but I’ve always know it as larb. Regardless, it could possibly be one of my favorite Thai dishes, and it’s one I make quite a bit, probably because of the fresh herbs, and the overall flavor profile. It’s everything you expect in a great Thai dish. It’s sweet, sour, and spicy, and it’s a dish that my kids really love, maybe because they get to eat with their hands, wiping up the larb with sticky rice. I’ve done a bunch of different things with larb such as larb quesadillas, shrimp larb, and even larb bao, only to name a few, but this time I wanted to actually combine the rice and the larb together to make this awesome Thai larb fried rice.

Thai Larb Fried Rice Recipe
Thai Larb Fried Rice Recipe

Whether you go straight for the larb recipe, or fry in your rice, I guarantee you will love this recipe. Let’s just say my oldest devoured most of the entire fried rice, it was that good.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 lb ground pork
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 shallots, minced (approximately 3 tbsp)
  • 1/3 cup of toasted rice powder
  • 2-5 Thai chile peppers, minced (spice to your liking)
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp palm sugar, or regular sugar
  • 2 whole limes, juiced
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint
  • 1/4 Thai basil
  • 4 cups cooked jasmine rice
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Sunny side up egg, per serving (optional)
  • salt, to taste

Add the oil to a large skillet and warm it to a medium, high heat. Once the oil is heated, add in the ground pork.

Once the pork is nicely cooked, add in the shallots, chilies, fish sauce, palm sugar, lime juice, mint and basil, as well as the toasted rice powder. Give this a good stir, and cook for about another 4 minutes.

Remove the mixture from the skillet and place into a bowl. Now let’s start on the fried rice portion.

Wipe out the skillet, and place back onto the stove on medium heat. Add in the butter, and cook until it gets nice and bubbly, but not browned. Add in the cooled rice, and using a wooden spoon, gently stir, and press down, breaking up the rice. Once the rice softens a bit and begins to steam through, raise the heat a bit, and then add in the Thai larb. Gently mix, caramelizing the rice and larb. Once you have a nice fried rice, taste and season with any salt. When you are ready to serve, place in serving bowls, and serve with a nicely fried egg, if you desire.

Thai Larb Fried Rice Recipe
Thai Larb Fried Rice Recipe

Garnish with roasted peanuts, fresh mint, and any additional Thai bird chili peppers if you desire.

Again, larb by itself is so tasty, but now when mixed with a fried rice, well let’s just say the game just got better. Did I mention that when you cut into the sunny side up egg and the yolk runs into the Thai larb fried rice? Whoa. It’s great.

If you are looking to change up your fried rice, or even try Thai larb, I would highly recommend this recipe. Hope you all enjoy!

Thai Larb Fried Rice
Author: 
Cuisine: Thai
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1¼ lb ground pork
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 shallots, minced (approximately 3 tbsp)
  • ⅓ cup of toasted rice powder
  • 2-5 Thai chile peppers, minced (spice to your liking)
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • ½ tbsp palm sugar, or regular sugar
  • 2 whole limes, juiced
  • ½ cup fresh mint
  • ¼ Thai basil
  • 4 cups cooked jasmine rice
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Sunny side up egg, per serving (optional)
  • salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Add the oil to a large skillet and warm it to a medium, high heat. Once the oil is heated, add in the ground pork.
  2. Once the pork is nicely cooked, add in the shallots, chilies, fish sauce, palm sugar, lime juice, mint and basil, as well as the toasted rice powder. Give this a good stir, and cook for about another 4 minutes.
  3. Remove the mixture from the skillet and place into a bowl. Now let’s start on the fried rice portion.
  4. Wipe out the skillet, and place back onto the stove on medium heat. Add in the butter, and cook until it gets nice and bubbly, but not browned. Add in the cooled rice, and using a wooden spoon, gently stir, and press down, breaking up the rice. Once the rice softens a bit and begins to steam through, raise the heat a bit, and then add in the Thai larb. Gently mix, caramelizing the rice and larb. Once you have a nice fried rice, taste and season with any salt. When you are ready to serve, place in serving bowls, and serve with a nicely fried egg, if you desire.

 

Thai Lemongrass and Ginger Dipping Sauce

I thought it was funny the other day while driving my daughter on one of my errands, that when prompting her with the classic ‘what do you think we should have for dinner?’ question, she immediately responded with lettuce wraps and sticky rice. I find that funny because most kids here age would probably say things like pizza, or hot dogs, or burgers. Sticky rice and lettuce wraps. I’m glad my kids not only are able to experience new things that I make for them, but they appreciate and have fun interacting with things like sticky rice.

Anytime I make sticky rice, I always, always make a batch of some type of dipping sauce. Some of my favorites are the Thai shallot sauce, as well as a Thai three sauce, but one dear to my heart is a very simple sauce that is so addictive. It’s the Thai lemongrass dipping sauce.

Thai Lemongrass Dipping Sauce

This sauce is not only great with dipping your sticky rice into, but you can drizzle it on grilled meats, lettuce wraps, and everything in between.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole Thai bird chilies, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced into a paste
  • 1 tbsp lemongrass, thinly sliced and chopped
  • 1/2 whole lime, juiced
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar

Add everything to a small mixing bowl, and let it sit out on your table until you are ready to serve. How to make a Thai Dipping Sauce

 

You could go as simple as the chilies, garlic, lime, and fish sauce and that still makes an awesome sauce, but the addition of the lemongrass and ginger really enhance this sauce. My daughter, who is curious with various chilies, was dipping a bit of her rice into the sauce, and it’s funny when they do explore the reaction on their faces. This was a bit too hot for my youngest, but I have a feeling years from now she will be answering me when I ask what she would like to eat that it is going to be something along the lines of ‘sticky rice with that spicy dipping sauce’.

Hope you enjoy!