|Dip or hot sauce|
Nam phrik kapi (foreground)
|Place of origin:|
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Nam phrik (Thai: น้ำพริก, pronounced [nám pʰrík], lit. "fluid chili") is a generic term that may refer to any of the types of more or less thick, spicy, chili-based, hot sauces typical of Thai cuisine. Usual ingredients for nam phrik are fresh or dry chilies, garlic, shallots, lime juice and often some kind of fish or shrimp paste. In the traditional way of preparing the sauce, the ingredients are pounded together using a mortar and pestle, with either salt or fish sauce added to taste.
Nam phrik is normally served on small saucers placed by the main dish as a condiment or dip for bland preparations, such as raw or boiled greens, fish, poultry and meats. Depending on the type, the region and the family that prepares it, nam phrik may vary in texture from a liquid to a paste to an almost dry, granulous or powdery consistency.
The first Westerner to report of nam phrik was Simon de la Loubère. As the French ambassador to the court of Ayutthaya in 1687/1688 CE he notes that it contains "a mustard like sauce, which consisted of Cray Fish corrupted (fermented fish); which they called kapi." King Chulalongkorn, regarded as one of the greatest kings of Thailand, repeatedly stated during his tour of Europe in 1907 CE that, besides khai chiao (omelette), he most missed nam phrik. The chef David Thompson, an acknowledged expert on Thai cuisine, writes "They are at the very core of Thai cooking and have fed the Thai from their distant past to the present."
Chili peppers originate from the Americas, where they have been cultivated for over 6000 years, and were probably introduced to Asia, and Thailand, in the 16th century CE by Portuguese emissaries and traders in what is known as the Columbian Exchange. Before chili peppers were known and enthusiastically embraced in Thai cuisine, other spices such as black pepper, long pepper, and Sichuan pepper were used instead to achieve the desired "spiciness".
- For "nam phrik" as curry pastes, see Thai curry
Types of nam phrik vary according to the ingredients, the preparation and the region. Some may include tamarind, green mango, galangal, lemongrass and/or mushrooms and even ingredients such as frog. If fish paste is used, it may be made in a variety of ways, by mincing dried, boiled, grilled or salted fish, or by using fish roe. In Isan, pla ra, giving an intense flavor, is often used. Some types of nam phrik may be sweetened with sugar. A Thai cooking book from 1974 CE lists over 100 different recipes. Among the most widespread varieties, the following deserve mention:
- Nam phrik kapi (Thai: น้ำพริกกะปิ) is one of the most widespread varieties and is typical of central Thailand. It is often eaten with fried pla thu and vegetables, among other dishes.
- Nam phrik kha (Thai: น้ำพริกข่า) is made with roasted chilies, garlic, galangal and salt. This northern Thai specialty is often served as a dip for steamed mushrooms.
- Nam phrik long ruea (Thai: น้ำพริกลงเรือ; lit. "In the boat chili paste") is an elaborate fried nam phrik using several kinds of fruits such as Garcinia schomburgkiana and Solanum ferox, dried shrimp, sweet pork, and shrimp paste in addition to chilies, garlic and sugar. It is eaten with salted duck egg, fresh greens, and, for instance, sliced Zedoary ("white turmeric").
- Nam phrik maeng da (Thai: น้ำพริกแมงดา) incorporates roasted and pounded maeng da (Lethocerus indicus, a kind of Giant water bug) for its specific taste.
- Nam phrik narok (Thai: น้ำพริกนรก) literally translates to "chili paste from hell". It is made with dried chilies, shrimp paste, catfish, shallots, garlic, fish sauce and sugar.
- Nam phrik num (Thai: น้ำพริกหนุ่ม), a thick northern specialty based on roasted green chilies, onion and garlic, is usually eaten along with vegetables, pork cracklings and sticky rice.
- Nam phrik ong (Thai: น้ำพริกอ่อง) is a traditional specialty of northern Thailand made with minced pork and tomato.
- Nam phrik phao (Thai: น้ำพริกเผา) is sweetened with sugar with, among other ingredients, roasted chilies and tamarind. It is popular as a spread on bread or toast. It can also be used as an ingredient, for instance in tom yum or in the Thai salad with squid called phla pla muek.
- Nam phrik pla ching chang (Thai: น้ำพริกปลาฉิ้งฉ้าง) is based on small, local anchovies (Stolephorus) popular in Phuket.
- Nam phrik pla ra (Thai: น้ำพริกปลาร้า) is made with pla ra as one of the main ingredients. Like most types of nam phrik, a little water is used if the mixture becomes too thick.
- Nam phrik pla salat pon (น้ำพริกปลาสลาดป่น), also known as phrik pla salat pon, is a variety of nam phrik with powdered, roasted, dry pla salat (Notopterus notopterus). All main ingredients (the dry fish, red dry chili and garlic) are previously roasted until crunchy. Shrimp paste and sugar are also added, and the mixture is pounded with a mortar and pestle. It is eaten with raw vegetables, and is popular in Khorat.
- Nam phrik pla yang (Thai: น้ำพริกปลาย่าง) is mainly minced, grilled fish, usually pla chon, mixed with onion, garlic, powdered chili, tamarind, shrimp paste, fish sauce and sugar.
- Nam phrik tai pla (น้ำพริกไตปลา), one of its main ingredients is tai pla, a sauce used in the Southern Thai cuisine made with the fermented innards of the short-bodied mackerel.
- Nam chim (another type of Thai dipping sauce)
- Sriracha sauce
- List of Thai dishes
- List of Thai ingredients
- Sambal, the equivalent of nam phrik in Indonesian and Malay cuisine
- nam phrik kaeng som
- Nam Prik Kapi, the way Thais like it
- Prik Pao (Thai Red Chilli Paste) Recipe
- น้ำพริกปลาฉิ้งฉ้าง (Anchovy Fish Chilli Paste)
- น้ำพริกปลาร้า (ป่น)
- Nam phrik pla salat pon recipe
- Akkasit Jongjareonrak et al. Antioxidant activity of fermented fish viscera (Tai-Pla) from short-bodied mackerel, Faculty of Agro-Industry, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90112 Thailand
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