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Thai Sauces - 11 Recipes

Nam Prik Kapi - Shrimp Paste Chile Sauce

2 T shrimp paste
4 cloves garlic
5-6 dried shrimp
5-7 fresh Thai chile peppers
3 T lime juice
3 T fish sauce
2-3 T palm sugar
1 T tiny Thai eggplant

In a mortar and pestle, pound dried shrimp into a coarse powder, remove from mortar and set aside. Place shrimp paste and garlic in mortar, mash and grind together then add the dried shrimp back into the mortar. Add Thai chile peppers and 3/4 of eggplant and pound the mixture together, adding palm sugar, lime juice and fish sauce to suit your taste. Spoon it into a dish and add remaining eggplants for visual appeal. 

This can be served in a wide variety of ways. Spoon over fresh steamed jasmine rice, or use as a dipping sauce for fresh or boiled vegetables such as cucumber, string bean, cabbage or bamboo shoot. It's also a wonderful accompaniment to Lao style vegetable curry. In Thailand this is very popular to eat with fried mackerel fish (pla tu).

Nam pla prik - Chile Fish Sauce

Put two thirds of a cup of Thai chile peppers or jalapeno peppers in a 1 pint jar, and fill with fish sauce, seal and keep for at least 1 week before using.

Nam Prik Kiga - Chile Sauce commonly used as a dip for assorted seafood and barbeque style foods

12 T Thai chile peppers, sliced thinly 
4 T shallots (or small red or purple onions), sliced thinly 
2 T garlic, sliced thinly 
3 T coriander plant including root, chopped 
1 T lime juice 
1 T fish sauce 

Sautee the chiles, shallots and garlic in a little hot oil, cool and puree the mixture in a food processor. If the coriander and shallots are added at the last minute the mixture will keep for several weeks in a refrigerator. 

Nam Prik Narok - Fiery Dipping Sauce used as an accompaniment to various dried meats and sliced vegetables

2-3 pound of catfish pieces 
1 pound dried Thai chile peppers
1/2 c garlic, chopped (including the skins) 
1/2 c shallots, chopped (including the skins) 
2 T shrimp paste 
1/4 c fish sauce 
3 T palm sugar. 

Grill or broil shallots and garlic until the skins blacken, then peeled and chopped. The dried chilis are also broiled until they barely begin to blacken (don't over do them). Deep fry the fish until crispy, then scrape out the flesh and discard skin and bones. You need 2 pounds of shredded cooked fish. Combine all the ingredients by mashing and mixing in a mortar and pestle, until consistent paste. Can be kept in a well stoppered jar, or refrigerated.

Nam Jim Priao Wan - Sweet & Sour Sauce used as a salad or simple dressing

1 c pineapple juice
1 c coconut nectar (try to use the watery liquid)
1/4 c tamarind concentrate mixed with 2/3 c water
1/2 c lime juice
3 T coconut cream
1 T red curry paste
1 t ginger, grated

Mix the juices in a saucepan and simmer to reduce to 2 cups of liquid. In a wok or skillet over medium heat, warm the coconut cream, add the curry paste and ginger, and stir until the mixture becomes aromatic. Skim off and discard any oil that forms on the surface. Stir the curry mix into the juices, and then cool. Will keep for 2-3 weeks in a refrigerator.

Prik dong

Put two thirds of a cup of Thai chile peppers in a 1 pint jar, and fill with white rice vinegar. 

Prik si-iew wan

Put two thirds of a cup of jalapeno peppers in a 1 pint jar, and fill with sweet dark soy sauce. 

Kratiem dong

Peel and slice two thirds of a cup of garlic, place it in the 1 pint jar, add 1 teaspoon of palm sugar, and one teaspoon of salt and topped up with white rice vinegar. 

Khing ki mao

Julienne two thirds of a cup of fresh ginger (match stick sized pieces). Place in the 1 pint jar. Add half a cup of rice whiskey, 1/2 c white rice vinegar, and fill up the jar with fish sauce. 

Nam Jim -Peanut Sauce for satay actually of Malaysian or Indonesian origin and rarely seen in Thai cooking

4 ounces of roasted (unsalted) peanuts
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 ounce chopped onion
1-2 R red or massaman curry paste
1 t fish sauce
8 T coconut milk
4-6 t lime juice (to taste).
2-3 t palm sugar.

First grind or crush the peanuts to a fairly fine powder, then combine them with the remaining ingredients (except the lime juice), to form a smooth sauce. If the sauce is too thick, you can thin it with a little chicken stock. Add the lime juice a little at a time and taste to get the balance of flavors correct for your taste.

A Jad - Thai cucumber sauce, good with any Thai peanut sauce dishes

4 T rice vinegar
1 t sugar
2-3 T cucumber, very coarsely chopped or sliced
2 shallots (or any variety of purple onion) chopped
3-4 Thai chile peppers, thinly sliced.

Combine the ingredients, and leave to stand overnight.