Nam Prik Pao

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Nam Prik Pao, also known as Thai chili paste or Thai chili jam, is a versatile and flavorful condiment in Thai cuisine. It is made by slowly cooking together various ingredients to create a thick, rich paste with complex sweet, savory, and spicy flavors.

The primary ingredients in Nam Prik Pao typically include dried red chili peppers, garlic, shallots, shrimp paste, tamarind paste, palm sugar, and sometimes fish sauce or soy sauce. Additional ingredients may include dried shrimp, dried fish, or roasted peanuts, depending on the recipe and regional variations.

To make Nam Prik Pao, the dried red chili peppers are typically toasted to enhance their flavor, then ground into a coarse powder. Garlic and shallots are then fried until golden brown and fragrant. Next, the ground chili powder is added along with shrimp paste, tamarind paste, and palm sugar. The mixture is slowly cooked until it thickens into a jam-like consistency, with the flavors melding together to create a complex and deeply flavorful paste.

Nam Prik Pao is commonly used as a condiment or flavoring agent in Thai cooking. It can be added to stir-fries, soups, curries, marinades, and dipping sauces to add depth of flavor and a hint of heat. It's particularly delicious spread on toast or used as a dipping sauce for grilled meats, vegetables, or spring rolls. Its sweet, savory, and spicy profile makes it a beloved and versatile ingredient in Thai cuisine.

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