Chili Shrimp Paste (Nam Prik Ka-Pi)

All Thais love Nam prik or chilli dip. With variations, it is eaten in every area and every house as it is the tastiest and least expensive accompaniment to a Thai rice meal. Nam phrik pla thu (Nam Prik Ka-Pi) or chilli dip with Thai mackerel is popular throughout the country but especially in the central Thailand. Any Thai back from a long trip abroad is likely to request this favourite on the first day he is home. Newcomers to Thailand may take a while to get used to the taste and smell. Recipes vary according to regional preferences and the specific type of nam prik dip to be made, with the basic ingredients are garlic, chilli, shrimp paste or shrimp power, seasoned with fish sauce, lime and palm sugar. All these are pounded together into a lumpy paste. Nam prik is eaten with fresh or boiled vegetables, Fried mackerel fish and Acacia Omelette or khai jeaw cha-om..humm..yum…yum..

  • 2 mackeral fishes, around 400 grams (or frozen salted mackeral) 
  • 1 tbsp shrimp paste 
  • 2 tbsp minced dried shrimps 
  • 3 red shallots, peeled 
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled 
  • 10-15 chili peppers (depends on how spicy you like) 
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce 
  • 2 tbsp lime juice 
  • ½ tsp Palm sugar 
  • Boiled or fresh vegetables (cabbage, cucumber, tomato, lectuce, carrot, string bean, etc.)
  • Heat oil in a wok and fry the mackeral fish until turn golden brown. Remove and drain. 
  • Pound red shallots, chilies, garlic in a mortar and pestle or by using the food processor, until mixed well. 
  • Add dried shrimps, shrimp paste, fish sauce, lime juice and sugar. 
  • Mix all ingredients until the mixture becomes smooth paste. And taste.
  • Transfer to a serving dipping bowl. 
  • Serve with fried mackeral fish and steamed vegetables. 
  • Thai people also love to eat this recipe with acacia omelette. 
How to make Acacia Omelette (Khai Jeaw Cha-Om)This recipe is optional. (If you cannot find acacia in your local grocery store, you may try to use other fresh vegetables instead.)

  • 2 cup Acacia
  • 2-3 eggs.
  • 1-2 tbsp Light soy sauce (optional)
  • Wash acacia (cha-om) and nip the leaves and young leaves. 
  • Add the beaten eggs in a bowl, and also add the acacia. 
  • Add light soy sauce
  • Stir until all mixed well.
  • Heat oil in a wok, medium heat.
  • Add the beaten eggs with acacia in the wok, fry until cooked and golden brown
  • then remove and drain. 
  • Slice into cubes.
  • Serve as a side dish with Chili Shrimp Paste (Nam Prik Ka-Pi) fried mackeral fish and fresh or boiled vegetable