What is Nam Prik Pao?
Nam Prik Pao, or Thai chili paste, is a delicious concoction of mild red chilies, garlic, shallots and a tad of shrimp paste. Sweeter than it is spicy, Nam Prik Pao can very easily be transformed into a sauce that can rescue even the dullest of dishes. Stir fry some vegetables with the chili paste and a splash of coconut milk and you’ve got a delicious vegetable side.
I prefer a light sauce of the Nam Pria Pao with soy sauce over a medley of wok-fried vegetables and seafood. The sweet and salty sauce nicely complements delicate seafood and crispy vegetables. Finish it off with a handful of fresh Thai Basil, a sprinkling of sugar and fish sauce, take a bite and you’ll feel like you too are on a secluded Thai island somewhere.
Seafood and vegetables wok-fried in Thai Chili Paste (Nam Prik Pao) with fresh Thai Basil leaves. Serve over rice for a spicy and satisfying meal.. #seafood #Thaifood #stirfry #delicious #healthy
- 1 halibut fillet sliced no bigger than 1 cm / 0.5 inch thick (~200 g / 7 oz)
- 1 squid (cleaned and sliced up into tentacles and rings)
- 6–12 prawns (deveined and removed from shells)
- 5 cloves of garlic (sliced)
- 4–5 cm of ginger (sliced)
- 200 g / 7 oz sliced mushrooms (shitake, oyster, or button-whichever you prefer)
- 6–8 baby corns
- 1 medium/large carrot (sliced thinly)
- 100 g / 3.5 oz snap peas
- 1 large bunch of Tai Pak Choy ( chopped into large pieces 1–2 in/ 2–5 cm long)
- a large handful of Thai Basil Leaves (about 50 g)
- 4 tbsp cooking oil
- 3 tbsp Thai Chili paste (Nam Prik Pao)
- 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1–2 tbsp fish sauce (optional)
- 1–2 tsp sugar (optional)
Over high heat, heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large wok.
When hot, add sliced ginger and garlic and stir vigorously (about 30 sec – 1 min)
Add sliced mushrooms, sliced carrot, baby corn, snap peas and pak choy. Stir fry for 2-3 min on high heat until cooked but still crunchy ( al dente).
Remove stir-fried veg from wok and transfer to a plate. Set aside.
In a small bowl, mix together Thai chili paste, soy sauce and water. Set aside.
Heat 1-2 tbsp of oil on high heat in a large wok. When hot, add sliced halibut. Cook for 1-2 minutes until lightly seared on both sides.
Add prawns, stir and cook for 1-2 minutes or until no longer pink.
Add sliced calamari, stir and cook for 1-2 minutes or until firm. Be careful not to overcook the calamari as it has a tendency to pick up a rubbery texture.
Add chili paste and soy sauce mixture.
Add stir-fried vegetables to seafood in the wok. Stir until everything is evenly coated.
Turn off heat, add Thai Basil leaves and stir into mixture.
Taste sauce and season appropriately with fish sauce and sugar. A little goes a long way, so start out with 1 tbsp of fish sauce with 1 tsp of sugar and go from there.
Don’t throw in all the seafood to cook and hope for the best. Fish, prawns and calamari all have different cooking times which means you might run the risk of overcooking some parts while leaving others undercooked. The ensure that each element is perfectly cooked, stagger the frying. First fry the fish, followed by prawns and lastly squid.
- Category: Thai, Seafood, Stir-fry
- Method: Stir-fry
- Cuisine: Thai
Keywords: Seafood, stir fry, Thai Chili paste, Nam Prik Pao, fish, prawns, shrimp, calamari, Thai Basil, vegetables
More Thai chili paste recipes to keep things spicy: