In today’s Thai food jargon, roasted chili paste is a mash-up of what were once two very distinct items: roasted chili paste (nam phrik phao; น้ำพริกเผา) and fried chili paste (nam phrik phat; น้ำพริกผัด). The former, and the older of the two, is produced by roasting all the ingredients; the latter by frying each ingredient individually.
Maawm Sohm Jeen’s roasted chili jam for salads consisted of dried chilies (5 pieces), shallots (18.75g) (5 saleung), garlic (15g) (1 baht), fermented shrimp paste (kapi) (7.5g) (2 saleung), coriander roots (3.75g) (1 saleung) and salt (1.88g) (1 feuang). All the ingredients were roasted, except the coriander roots, and then pounded together in a mortar and pestle into a fine paste.
The paste was simply seasoned with salt and used as part of Maawm Sohm Jeen’s salad seasoning dressing, which was further seasoned with fish sauce, sugar, lime juice or tamarind paste to a mildly spicy, mellow, three-flavor profile of sour leading, salty to follow, with a sweetness further rounded by the silkiness, creaminess, richness and natural sweetness of the coconut cream.
Not all of Lady Plean Passakornrawong’s salad dressings included roasted chili jam. In her recipe for pork skin salad (yam nang muu; ยำหนังหมู) she offers a glimpse of her roasted chili jam version, which included dried chilies (15g) (1 baht), shallots (7.5g) (2 saleung), garlic (11.25g) (3 saleung), coriander roots (3.75g) (1 saleung) and salt (1.88g) (1 feuang).
As an alternative to roasted chili jam, Lady Plean suggests using naam phrik laao (น้ำพริกลาว).
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- 15 pieces dried red long chili (phrik chee fa) (พริกชี้ฟ้าแห้ง)
- 10 pieces shallots (หอมแดง) roasted
- 1/2 cup Thai garlic (กระเทียมไทย) roasted
- 1 tablespoon fermented shrimp paste (kapi)(กะปิย่างไฟ) grilled
- 6 pieces coriander roots (รากผักชี)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (เกลือทะเล)
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce (น้ำปลา)
- 6 tablespoons lime juice (น้ำมะนาว)
- 2 tablespoons palm sugar (น้ำตาลมะพร้าว)
- Char-grill the dry chilies, fermented shrimp paste, unpeeled shallots and garlic.
- Peel the shallots and clean the coriander roots.
- Pound with salt all the ingredients to a consistent paste.
- Season with fish sauce, lime juice and palm sugar.
- Serve as a dipping sauce