Monday, 13 June 2011

N is for... Nam Prik Pao

Nam Prik Pao: bottom right

Nam prik pao is a fiery and tangy Thai sauce. Its full bodied flavour works as brilliantly with beef as it does chicken or you can even go down the squid or prawn route. This sauce can be made in bulk and it will sit happily in sterilised jars for ages in your fridge. As with the Nuea Sawan, feel free to swap the soy for nam pla if you're after authenticity.  I made this dish with prawns for N night because I already had a chicken, beef and pork dish on the menu. Unfortunately, half of my guests (Richard included) are not big fans of prawns, but they still loved the sauce. I'll be making this again, but maybe with chicken next time, depending on who's coming for dinner.

Nam Prik Pao

4 - 5 tbsp vegetable/ sunflower oil
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 shallots, finely chopped
3 tbsp dried red chilli flakes
1 tsp shrimp paste
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 - 3 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 tsp tamarind paste
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp water
200 g prawns

Fry the garlic and shallots together until golden and slightly crisp. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and leave to cool. Stick the cooled shallots and garlic along with the rest of the ingredients into a food processor. Blitz until it makes a thick paste. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Chuck the paste into a hot wok and simmer to reduce to the texture of loose jam. Tip in the prawns and cook for two to three minutes or until the prawns are cooked through. If you don't want to use the nam prik pao immediately just transfer the hot sauce into a sterilised jar.

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