Nam Prik Recipe - Spicy Chili Paste

Thai nam prik is a spicy chili paste served with rice and is prepared in a variety of ways and differs from region to region. In general, the basic ingredients of nam prik are some type of fish paste, garlic, fresh chilis, fish sauce and lime juice.

Nam phrik pla pahn is ground dried fish with fresh chilies; nam phrik pla raa is fermented fish with fresh chilies; nam phrik kapee is shrimp paste with fresh chilis; nam phrik oong is minced pork, tomato and fresh chili peppers.

Spicy Fish Paste (Nahm Prik Plah Tu)

A beautiful Thai woman from the North stayed at our beach resort and made this dish every morning for breakfast with steamed vegetables and sticky rice. Years later I still crave this around 10am.



  1. Lightly brown the mackerel in hot oil in a wok. Remove to paper towel covered plate and cool. It is already cooked, so do not overcook. Once cooled, remove meat from the bones and set aside.
  2. Mash shallots, garlic, and chilies in a mortar and pestle or small food processor container until still coarse, not smooth.
  3. Add shrimp paste, blend in with pestle or process briefly. Or if using dried shrimp, pound or process to break up and blend in to the paste. Blend in the mackerel.
  4. Add fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar (if desired) and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve with sticky rice and steamed vegetables. Serves 4.

*Ask for frozen mackerel in a local Asian market.

Recipe © Temple of Thai 2000; Image © 2010 Nakit Jaroonsrirak/
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Nam Prik Kapee Video  

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