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Nahm Phrik Plah Tu - Spicy Fish Paste

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Thai "Nahm phrik" is a spicy paste served with rice which is prepared in a variety of ways and differs from region to region. In general, the basic ingredients of "nahm prik" are some type of fish paste, garlic, fresh chiles, fish sauce and lime juice.

"Nahm phrik pla pahn" is ground dried fish with fresh chiles; "nahm phrik pla raa" is fermented fish with fresh chiles; "nahm phrik kapee" is shrimp paste with fresh chiles; "nahm phrik oong" is minced pork, tomato and fresh chile.


2 tbsp canola oil
2 pc (200 g) frozen salted mackeral (plah tu)
2 shallots, peeled
2 large cloves garlic, peeled
20 fresh Thai chile peppers (prik kee noo)
5 pc dried large chiles (prik chee fah)
1 tsp shrimp paste (ka-pee) or 1 tbsp dried shrimps
1 tbsp fish sauce (nam plah)
Juice of 1 large fresh lime
1/2 tsp. sugar (optional)


  • Lightly brown the mackeral in hot oil in a wok. Remove to paper towel covered plate. It is already cooked, so do not overcook.
  • Mash shallots ,garlic and chiles in a mortar and pestle or small food processor container until still coarse, not smooth.
  • 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.
  • Add fish sauce, lime juice and sugar (if desired).
  • Serve with rice and steamed vegetables.

Serves 4