I thought I would add this recipe here for Prik Nam Pla since I will reference it frequently when I talk about serving Thai dishes. To a Thai person, this condiment is like salt and pepper is here in the U.S. and is found on just about every Thai table. Prik Nam Pla literally translated means spicy-hot fish water. And even Thai households will have this sauce readily available at every meal to be spooned over a dish to add spice and saltiness. It’s not just something you will find in restaurants. This is very easy to make and keeps in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. I have been known to keep it longer but it will lose heat if kept past that. You will need at least 3 ingredients, 4-5 with the optionals.
Nam Pla Prik (Makes about 1 cup)
- 1 garlic clove (optional)
- 3 garlic (chinese) chive flower stalks.
- 1-2 lime wedges (to taste)
- Thai Chili peppers (as many as desired – to taste)
- 1 Red Savina Habanero pepper (optional if you want it REALLY hot).
- 1/2 cup of a good quality Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce.
You want the ingredients to be as fresh as possible though if you look closely at the picture above, you will see frost on my Thai chilis. Yes, they were previously frozen so I cheated here. I grow them all summer long (I’ll discuss that in another post) and freeze them for the winter. I have a fresh Red Savina Habanero above as well (I do not recommend that unless you have an asbestos palette like I do – a result of having spent my childhood in Thailand).
- Mince one garlic clove well. Add to the jar or container that can hold 1 cup in volume.
- Slice the garlic chives into 1/8″ slices.
- Slice the peppers into 1/8-1/4″ sections depending on personal taste. I like 1/8″ myself. If you decide to add a habanero as I did, mince that well too. Add to the jar with the garlic.
- Squeeze as many lime wedges as desired (I prefer one wedge but some may want more citrus in their sauce).
- Fill the rest of the way with the fish sauce and gently stir well.
I like to chill mine in the fridge for an hour to give the flavors some time to meld.
And below is a batch I made that has minced garlic chive flower stalks in it. I’ve added that to my recipe here because I always make it like this way now because it drastically improves the flavor after it sits for 3-4 days..
And there you have it. Over time you will probably make adjustments to your own recipe until you have it the way you like it. This will be called for to be served with almost all recipes I provide here.