Spicy Shrimp Dip (Nam Prik Goong Sod) นำ้พริกกุ้งสด
Outside of Thailand, dips are severely underrepresented, but in Thailand, we have dips as often as you might have a sandwich! “Nam Prik” is a type of Thai dip that is spicy (“prik” means chilies!) with very bold flavours. It’s served as part of a bigger meal, and for many families, a meal isn’t quite complete without a nam prik on the table!
Restaurants shy away from putting nam prik on the menu because they can be a bit of an acquired taste, but the one I am sharing with you today is what I consider a “beginner’s nam prik” because it is easy to make and easy to love with very simple ingredients. The perfect way to ease yourself into the world of nam prik!
Serves 3-4 as part of a bigger meal
- 100 g shrimp, medium size
- 8 cloves garlic, leave the skin on
- 2 heads shallots, peeled and quartered
- Red chilies, to taste (see note)
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) lime juice
- 1 ½ (22 ml) Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp (12 g) palm sugar, finely chopped, packed
- Vegetables (raw or blanched) such as cucumber, carrots, cabbage, radish, long beans, cauliflower, anything you like for dipping!
- Medium boiled eggs for serving (boil for 8 minutes)
- Jasmine rice (this dip is usually served as part of a meal so there is normally rice in the mix)
Note: You can put as much chilies as you like depending on how spicy you want the nam prik to be. However, I like to use larger chilies so that I get a lot of red colour to make the dip more colourful. If the larger chilies you’re using is not spicy enough, you can always add some Thai chilies for extra heat. The one I used in the video is a local variety in Canada called Gusto peppers; they look like Thai spur chilies but boy do they pack some heat!
Preheat the oven broiler on high, alternatively you can use a grill on medium heat.
Sear the shrimp in a hot pan with a little oil just until it has a bit of browning on each side, and until it is cooked through. Set aside.
Broil the garlic, shallots and chilies under a preheated broiler for a few minutes until the edges are charred. They will not finish at the same time, so keep an eye on them and remove them as they are done. If using a grill, use a vegetable grill pan, or skewer the garlic cloves and the shallots together, so they won’t fall through the grate. The garlic and shallots should become soft and smells sweet.
Add all the herbs into a mortar and pestle and pound until creamy with no big chunks.
Add palm sugar and pound until dissolved.
Add shrimp (but save one for garnish!) and pound until the shrimp are all shredded.
Add lime juice, fish sauce, and tamarind juice and stir to mix.
Taste and adjust seasoning as needed, but remember that the dip should be quite strong as it’ll be served with vegetables and rice. If you’d like a thinner consistency you can add a tiny splash of water. Enjoy!