Sour Curry Paste (Prik Gaeng-Som)

There are in general two types of curries in Thailand, coconut milk based curries which are the most widely known type in the West and then there are also water-based curries. The most typical water-based curry is Sour Curry (gaeng som) which is most often prepared with fish, but can also be made with seafood (especially shrimp) and pork. Typically the sourness of the curry comes from the addition of tamarind or other types of sour fruits, including sour pineapple. The spiciest curries in Thailand in general are the water-based curries, as there is no coconut fat to alleviate the heat. Sour curry paste is one of the simpler types of curry paste in Thailand being made up of only dried red chilies, red onion (shallot), sea salt, shrimp paste and sometimes rhizome.
Source: Temple of Thai

  • 6 dried red spur chilies, seeded and soaked
  • 3 tablespoon shallots, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, sliced
  • 50 g fish or prawns, boiled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
  • Pound dried chilies with salt to a fine paste. 
  • Add shallots and garlic, and continue to pound until smooth paste.
  • Add shrimp paste, boiled fish or prawns and pound until well blended together.