Roasted Chili Paste (Nam Prik Pao)
This paste is an ingredient in several Thai dishes, one of the famous dishes is Tom Yam soups. There are several good quality commercial brands available in the market (Asian food store) but it more worth it if you can make your own. There are many variations of this paste and this is one of them.
6 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 onions, unpeeled (small or medium size) or Thai shallots
2 teaspoon fermented shrimp paste (belacan in Malaysia)
6 large dried red chillies
2 tablespoons ground dried shrimp (udang kering in Malaysia)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons tamarind concentrate mixed with 2 tablespoons of hot water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- In heavy-based iron pan or wok, dry-fry garlic and onions over high heat until charred. Cool, discard skins and chop roughly. This process will create a lot of smoke so make sure you open your kitchen windows or make sure that you switch on your cooker hood.
- Wrap shrimp paste in an aluminium foil. Dry-fry in same pan/wok for several minutes on each side. Cool and unwrap.
- Combine the rest of the ingredients and process it into a smooth paste. You can use food processor, blender or mortar and pestle. When it needed, you can add a couple tablespoons of cooking oil to bind the ingredients together.
- Fry the paste in a saucepan, gently stirring and make sure it won't get burn. Taste to see if extra tamarind juice, sugar or any salt is required to balance the flavour.
- Continue cooking for several minutes then cool before you keep it in sterilised jar with tight fitting lid. This paste can be kept for several months refrigerated.
Thai soup stock
9 cups water
600 gm chicken bones (or beef or fish bones)
2 stalk celery, roughly chopped
2 holland onions, quartered
2 coriander roots, roughly chopped
4 fresh or dry kaffir lime leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger root
- Put all ingredients in a pot and cook for several minutes,reduce heat and skim any fat from the surface.
- Cover and let it simmer in low heat for about an hour.
- Strain the soup and you can repeat it several time to get a clear stock as possible.
- The stock can be keep in refrigerator for several days or it can be frozen for long-term used. Don't forget to skim any fat during refrigeration.