Prik Nam Pla- Easy Thai Chili Dipping Fish Sauce is used in Thai cuisine to enhance flavor. Nam Prik Pla is one of the most basic Thai sauces using minimal and simple ingredients, making it an effortless sauce to whip up. Ready in less than 10 minutes!
The ingredients in Nam Prik Pla harmoniously blend to create a fusion of salty, sour, sweet, and spicy flavors. It's an easy recipe with bold, punchy flavors!
- What is Prik Nam Pla?
- Why you'll love Nam Pla Prik
- What does Prik Nam Pla mean?
- Ingredients for making Prik Nam Pla recipe
- How to make Nam Prik Pla
- How to use Nam Prik Pla
- The best fish sauce to use for Nam Prik Pla
- Funny Fact-fish sauce shortage during covid!
- Nam Prik Pla vs Nuoc Mam
- Prik Nam Pla, a popular Thai table condiment
- Helpful kitchen notes and tips
- Storing your Nam Prik Pla Fish sauce
- Frequently Asked Questions
- More Thai recipes you'll love
- Thai Kitchen Resources
- Prik Nam Pla- Easy Thai Chili Dipping Fish Sauce
What is Prik Nam Pla?
Prik nam pla is a dipping sauce that is popular in Thai cuisine. It is made by mixing bird's eye chili peppers (prik) with fish sauce (nam pla), lime juice, and sometimes sugar and garlic. The result is a spicy, tangy, and savory sauce often served with grilled meats, seafood, and vegetables.
Prik Nam Pla is known for its potent and fiery flavor, so it is recommended to use it sparingly until you get used to the heat.
Why you'll love Nam Pla Prik
- It's EASY! It's unbelievable how easy it is to create this Nam Prik Pla using minimal ingredients.
- Nam Prik Pla is versatile. You can use it on pretty much everything.
- This spicy dipping sauce can be adjusted for a spiciness level. You control the spice level by how many chilis you use for this recipe!
- Make it ahead of time! You can make this delicious sauce up to 7 days ahead of time! Keep the fish sauce mixture in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
What does Prik Nam Pla mean?
This sauce may have a few spelling and pronunciation variations, but they all refer to the same thing. These variations include Nam Prik Pla, Prik Nam Pla, Nam Pla Prik, Nam Prik, and Nam Pla Prik sauce. To understand the meaning behind each variation, it's helpful to know the Thai words they contain. "Prik" means peppers or chilies, "Nam" means water, and "Pla" means fish. Therefore, "Nam Pla" refers to fish sauce, and "Prik Nam Pla" translates to chili fish sauce. Hopefully, that clears things up, and we can move on!
Ingredients for making Prik Nam Pla recipe
A major bonus for this recipe-All of the ingredients for this Nam Prik Pla can be found at your local grocery store! The only hesitation is using non-Thai fish sauce brands, as each fish sauce has a different level of salinity and saltiness. Adjust your dipping sauce with more sugar and lime juice until your taste buds are happy!
- Thai chili peppers. Use fresh Thai chili peppers like bird's eye or long spur chilis.
- Fish sauce. Use a good quality fish sauce for this spicy sauce.
- Garlic. One of the main ingredients for this simple recipe. Use fresh garlic cloves. Garlic paste is not a good fit for this sauce.
- Fresh lime juice. You can use lemon juice, but lime juice is the best. Thai recipes hardly ever use lemon juice, so grab a few fresh limes and use them.
- White sugar. Use brown sugar, palm sugar, coconut sugar, or monk fruit sugar can be used as sweeteners.
- Water. Water is entirely optional. Add a tiny amount of water using salty fish sauce brands like Squid, Tiparos, or Thai kitchen brands to help dilute the saltiness. Play around with the portions until you like the taste of your sauce.
How to make Nam Prik Pla
Making prik nam pla is super quick and easy. You only need a small bowl or cup, a spoon, and a handful of ingredients.
Step 1. Thinly sliced Thai chilies and garlic. Mincing the garlic is fine, too, if you don't want to bite into a big chunk of garlic. The thicker you slice your chilies, the hotter each bite is, so keep that in mind when slicing them.
Step 2. Add all the ingredients to a serving bowl and whisk together until the sugar dissolves. Adjust with more lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and chilies if needing more heat! Let the sauce sit for 2-3 minutes to allow the ingredients to make a mini marinade. And that is it, my friends! Super simple!
How to use Nam Prik Pla
Nam Prik Pla is quite versatile, and the list of food it can be used with is endless. The following are my favorite recipes to use this amazing dipping sauce with. Thai basil fried rice, shrimp fried rice, stir fry vegetables, Pad Krapao, Cabbage stir-fried with bacon, and Thai sticky rice. Use it to season on fried rice, stir-fried dishes, on grilled food, or use it to pour over your cooked jasmine rice or sticky rice.
The best fish sauce to use for Nam Prik Pla
Since the fish sauce is the main ingredient for this Thai recipe, using lower-quality fish sauces could potentially ruin the flavors. The following are my favorite fish sauce brands for this Thai chili fish sauce recipe. Fish sauce is a
- I love using 3 crabs brand fish sauce and a Vietnamese fish sauce brand—a well-loved fish sauce not only by the Vietnamese people but by many in other Southeast Asian countries. Myself included!
- The Squid fish sauce brand also works but airs on the saltier side. Use sparingly. Squid fish sauce is a popular sauce that's been the go brand for traditional Thai cuisine for many decades.
- Megachef fish sauce is another excellent fish sauce and can be found in a well-stocked Asian market.
- Red Boat fish sauce is a very good fish sauce brand from the island of Phu Quoc, Vietnam.
- The premium squid brand, a new product is lighter fish sauce and not as salty as the original. These are harder to find. Check your local Asian markets.
Funny Fact-fish sauce shortage during covid!
During covid shutdown in 2020, fish sauces were difficult to find in most Asian supermarkets! Especially the 3 crab brand fish sauce brand! If there were any in stock, the prices tripled or quadrupled what they used it be! They were also rationed on how many bottles you can buy per person. I find that quite comical! (:
Nam Prik Pla vs Nuoc Mam
Prik nam pla and Nouc Mam are popular condiments in Southeast Asian cuisine. Prik nam pla is a Thai condiment from fish sauce, lime juice, and chopped chilies. It is often used as a dipping sauce for seafood or as a seasoning for soups and stir-fries.
On the other hand, Nouc Mam is a Vietnamese condiment made from fermented fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, and chilies with a savory flavor. It is a staple in Vietnamese cuisine and is a dipping sauce for spring rolls, egg rolls, summer rolls, grilled meats, and seafood.
Both condiments are known for their strong, salty, and savory flavors. Prik nam pla has a tangy and spicy taste, while Nouc Mam has a slightly sweet and salty flavor. While they may be similar in some ways, they have distinct flavor profiles and are used differently in their respective cuisines.
Prik Nam Pla, a popular Thai table condiment
This spicy sauce is such a common table condiment in Thai cooking that it is nearly impossible not to see it on every table in Thai restaurants, stalls, and even home kitchens!
Helpful kitchen notes and tips
- Adjust your Nam Prik Pla with more or fewer chilies to fit your spiciness level.
- Traditionally, fresh Thai chilies are used to make Prik Nam Pla sauce. You can use chili flakes in a pinch if fresh hot chilis are unavailable.
You can add or subtract these different variations from your spicy Thai sauce. My recipe provides a basic guideline. Once you perfect the first one, which is very easy to do, please add your own touch and customize the flavors to your liking! Here are the ingredients I've used to mix it up a bit.
- Add julienned kaffir lime leaves. I first had this version in Portland years back and was hooked!
- Use kaffir lime zest if you can find them. The bold flavors will send your taste buds dancing with happiness!
- Add finely chopped fresh cilantro for a fresh and herbaceous flavor.
- For a less spicy sauce, use Jalapenos peppers or Serrano peppers.
- For a vegan version, use vegan fish sauces or sea salt. The salt will not give the same taste, but it will give the salty flavor to the final sauce. If using salt, do not use too much salt as fish sauce is more diluted than salt. Start with a small amount and build from there.
- Soy sauce is not a good substitute for this recipe as it has a different flavor profile. Use salt instead.
- Tamarind paste can be used as a souring ingredient if fresh lime juice is unavailable. The tamarind will add a thicker consistency to the sauce. )Tamarind sauce is what's used to make delicious Pad Thai sauce)
Storing your Nam Prik Pla Fish sauce
Nam Prik Pla keeps well for a long time! Keep the sauce in a glass mason jar, any glass container with a lid at room temperature for up to 3 days, and in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
When it comes to Prik Nam Pla sauce, the level of spiciness can vary. It's all up to you! This chili sauce can be adjusted to suit your preference, whether you prefer a milder or spicier taste. While the sauce has a spicy kick, you can control how much heat it packs.
Prik nam pla is a Thai phrase that translates to "chili fish sauce" in English. It is a popular condiment used in Thai cuisine, typically made with chopped chili peppers, garlic, lime juice, sugar, and fish sauce.
The taste of prik nam pla can be described as salty, sour, spicy, and slightly savory. The fish sauce gives it a distinct umami flavor, while the lime juice adds a zesty tang. The garlic adds depth, and the chili peppers provide a kick of heat.
Prik nam pla is typically served as a condiment alongside other dishes and is used as a dipping sauce for various types of food, such as grilled meats, vegetables, and rice. Some popular dishes that go well with prik nam pla include grilled chicken or pork, green papaya salad, and stir-fried vegetables.
Nam pla is a Thai sauce made from fermented fish, usually anchovies or other small fish. The fish is mixed with salt and fermented in large barrels for several months. The fermentation process breaks down the fish, creating a liquid rich in umami flavor and salty taste.
The liquid is then strained and bottled to be used in many Thai dishes as a condiment. Nam pla is an essential ingredient in Thai cuisine and adds a unique and delicious flavor to dishes like pad Thai, green curry, and tom yum soup, for making sauces like Thai seafood sauce, Nam Jim Jaeow, and so much more.
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- Vietnamese spring rolls
- Thai rice noodles
- How to make sticky rice
- Thai basil fried rice
- Prik king curry with shrimp and green beans,
- 5-minute satay sauce using peanut butter
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Thai Kitchen Resources
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