Sunday, May 25, 2014

Toasted Thai Chile Sauce – “Nam prik pao”

Commercially this is a roasted chile paste containing red chili, garlic, onion, palm sugar, oil, tamarind, salt and sometimes dried shrimp and fish sauce. These commercially preparations can be very hot.

As I often want a toasted chile flavor but want to control the proportion of other flavors, my version is made only with just whole chiles. In this recipe, New Mexico pods are much milder than arbor chiles so if you want a milder sauce use less arbor and more of these.  Ancho chiles are added for flavor and are relatively mild.

2 package of dried arbor chiles
1 package of dried New Mexico pods
1 package of dried ancho chiles

If you don’t have an outside grill with a side burner, I would recommend you buy this instead. The fumes are serious and having these fumes inside the house is not a good idea unless you have a great hood that you can run on high. When roasting any chiles, the fumes can permanent damage your eyes so keep your head away from the pan – don’t “take in” the aroma up close. Also, it may be useful to wear latex disposible gloves when handling this volume of peppers.

Break the stems off all the chiles, jiggle pods to discard as much of the seeds as possible. Crumple these in a bowl. Heat a large stainless steel or cast iron frying pan over high heat. Add chiles and toast these until fragrant, stirring contents frequently. Turn off heat. Allow chiles to cool somewhat. While pan is still somewhat warm, add a cup of warm water. Cover and let soak for an hour. Using a post blender, blend chiles into a paste. Add more water if too thick. Store paste in a jar in refrigerator for up to six months.

Mae Pranom Brands

Chilli Paste in Oil from Mae Pranom, known as "Nam prik pao", one of the premium quality from Thailand. Added in hot and sour soup, Tom yum, to enhance the flavor. Mingle with steamed rice, dip with fresh vegetables, pork cracking or rice crispy. Ingredients: Sugar, shallot, soya bean oil, garlic, dried chilli, fish sauce, dried shrimp. Net Weight: 8.0 oz. Product of Thailand, approx $4.

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