The Thai have a huge collection of Nam Phriks in their recipe memories. Something in the order of 200 to 400. Many are relatively unknown but each family would call on at least a dozen of them randomly and one or two of these would be served pretty well with each meal. They are used as dips, as wet condiments as flavourants for sauces and dishes. It isn't correct to call them a dip, a dip is just one of their uses. For example the green curry paste  is called Nam Phrik Kaeng Keow Wan, and by itself it's never used as a dip.


  • 1/2 cup (120 ml)Kratiem (garlic cloves),
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) Hom daeng (shallots), whole
  • 6 Prik chi fa chillies (Thai chillies)
  • 4 medium Tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml)Makhuea pro (Thai eggplants)
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) Nam manao (lime juice)
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) Nam pla (fish sauce)
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml)Palm sugar
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) Hom daeng (shallots), finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) Bai chi (coriander/cilantro) chopped finely

  1. Grill, barbeque, or char the garlic, whole shallots, chillies and tomatoes until the skins just start to turn black.
  2. Skin and quarter the tomatoes and discard the seed pulp.
  3. Put the eggplant in a small saucepan, cover with water and simmer until barely cooked (they should still be firm).
  4. Place all the ingredients in a mortar and pestle or food processor and process to a coarse paste. Taste for balance: the sauce should be hot and sharp. If too hot add a little more sugar and lime juice (and possibly a little more fish sauce). Will keep 3-4 weeks in a refrigerator.

Nam Prik Num is normally served with Thai Sticky Rice and a selection of lightly steamed vegetables with deep fried pork skin pieces called pork scratchings in the UK. This is a great beer food!