Red Chili Dip

This recipe for Nam Prik Ong makes a small portion suitable as an appetizer for about four people. For larger groups, simply scale it up. Some versions of this recipe call for the addition of a small portion (1 teaspoon) of shrimp paste, a tofu sheet or fermented soy beans. I think the dish does fine without them, as they are difficult to find and the quantities needed are so small.

Red Chili Dip

Red Chili Dip


Ground Pork3 Tbl
Dried chilies5Soaked in water
Lemongrass1 TblChopped
Shallots3 TblChopped
Garlic5 cloves
Cherry tomatoes100 g / ¼ lb
Garlic3 clovesChopped
Salt2 tsp
Water100 ml / ½ c
Vegetable oil2 Tbl

Preparation Method

  • Grind the dried chili, lemongrass and salt to a fine paste with a mortar and pestle or food processor. Add the shallots and (5) whole garlic cloves, and continue grinding.
  • Add the tomatoes and gently mix them into the paste. If using a food processor, use a low setting. Stir in the ground pork.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or skillet. When hot, stir-fry the chopped garlic until it is crispy and fragrant. Transfer the chili paste to the wok and stir-fry over low heat to cook the pork. Add the water and simmer until reduced to a nice thick sauce. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Nam prik ong is typically served at room temperature with raw vegetables such as sliced cucumbers or gherkins, cut long beans, cabbage, carrots, etc. With a little more meat added, this can also make an interesting spaghetti sauce.


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