Indulge in a burst of tropical flavors with this Thai Spicy Mango Dipping Sauce (Nam Pla Wan). It has the perfect blend of sweet, spicy, and savory flavors that will make your mouth want to hang on to every bite like a bee stuck to the honeycomb. It's nearly impossible to stop eating once you start! Get ready to embark on a flavorful journey like no other!
Try this popular street snack for a simple and faster version of this 3-minute Thai spicy dipping sauce (for young fruits).
- More Thai fruits salads
- WHY YOU'LL LOVE THIS NAM PLA WAN RECIPE
- What is Spicy Mango Dipping Sauce
- Ingredients to Make Spicy Mango Dipping Sauce with Dried Shrimp
- What is palm sugar?
- How to Make Thai Spicy Mango Dipping Sauce (Nam Pla Wan)
- Helpful Kitchen Notes
- What fruit to serve with Spicy Mango Sauce
- Storing leftover Nam Pla Wan
- Other Thai Recipes You'll Love
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Thai Spicy Mango Dipping Sauce (Nam Pla Wan)
More Thai fruits salads
Try this Thai green mango salad with cashew for a more sweet, salty, and slightly tangy fruit salad. And also this popular Thai pomelo fruit salad. Both are made with fruit and are delightfully delicious!
WHY YOU'LL LOVE THIS NAM PLA WAN RECIPE
This Spicy Mango Dipping Sauce combines the vibrant and tangy flavors of unripe mangoes with the unique umami depth of dried shrimp. Combining zesty lime juice, spicy chili flakes, and palm sugar adds a tropical twist that will leave you craving more.
- It’s super simple and fast to put together. Less than 10 minutes of prepping and around five minutes of cooking time. That’s it!
- The sauce keeps very well for the next 4-5 days. Guarantee, it won’t be around that long after you taste the first bite! The sauce tastes better after sitting for a day or two. The flavors keep getting more and more delicious for some reason.
- You can use any starchy fruit of choice throughout the year! You can use mangoes, pears, peaches, apples, jicama, or starchy fruit. Just make sure the fruits are very firm and not ripe.
- Serving this sweet and hot sauce with crispy fruit on a platter is the perfect way to enjoy this snack during the mango season in the summer months.
What is Spicy Mango Dipping Sauce
Spicy Mango Dipping Sauce, Mamuang Nam Pla Wan, is a delectable condiment with a perfect blend of sour and spicy tastes. Thai spicy mango dipping sauce with dried shrimp is a popular snack for dipping crispy and starchy fruits like crispy mangos, guava, and sour green apples. With each bite full of sweet, salty, and spicy tastes, this mouthwatering snack will leave you craving more.
This recipe uses dried shrimp for the added meaty texture and umami flavors. That's what makes this sauce completely irritable after one bite! The sauce's spiciness is completely adjustable, so you can be at any level you desire with this quick and simple recipe!
Ingredients to Make Spicy Mango Dipping Sauce with Dried Shrimp
- Fish Sauce. I used the Squid brand for my recipe, but you can use any available brand. Some brands are saltier than others, so best to use a little less than the recipe calls for and then add more towards to end if you need more salt.
- Dried shrimp. Dried shrimp comes in small, medium, or large sizes. I prefer the medium or large size for more umami and meatiness. You can find them in the refrigerated section of most Asian markets.
- Red Chili flakes. Chili flakes are also labeled chili powder. You can find the larger flakey peppers or the super fine powder. I use the larger flakes for more texture and less concentration of spiciness.
- Water. Add about 1 tablespoon of water to help balance all the flavors together. Add more if necessary, especially if your sauce is too dry, salty, or sweet. Adjust as you see fit!
- Palm sugar. Palm sugar adds a toffee-like taste that intensifies the flavor of the sauce.
What is palm sugar?
Palm sugar. Palm sugar is made from the sweet nectar of the palm trees. They are popular in Thai cooking. They come in multiple small pugs, large circular ones, soft melted ones in plastic tubs, or some softer form in a plastic bag.
Read more about palm sugar and its use in Thai cooking here.
My favorite palm sugar is the ones sold the plastic tubs with a paste-like consistency. If you use the pugs, you must shave down the sugar before cooking. See the picture below.
How to Make Thai Spicy Mango Dipping Sauce (Nam Pla Wan)
Step 1. Heat a small saucepan on medium-low heat and add fish sauce, water, and palm sugar. Stir together with a whisk.
Step 2. After the sugar dissolves, add the dried shrimp and cook for 1-2 minutes until the shrimp is slightly soft.
Step 3. Add the shallot and chili flakes, and whisk together often until the shallot is soft and caramelized for about 2 minutes.
Step 4. Stir with a whisk and cooking until the sauce thickens and golden brown. Add additional fresh chilis if desired for EXTRA spiciness. This is completely optional.
Step 5. Turn off the heat, and remove the beautiful golden brown sauce into a small bowl. Set it over a cooking wire rack to protect your counter. Let cool completely before serving.
Step 6. While the sauce is cooling, prepare your fruit to use for dipping. Cut the fruit of choice to the size and shape of a spoon to use as dipping pieces for the sauce.
Helpful Kitchen Notes
- The best fruits for dipping sauce are crispy and starchy, with a semi-sweet and sour taste for this spicy chili dip. Young green mangoes are typically eaten with this sauce but are hard to find in the US and Asian markets. You can use regular mangoes, but make sure they are not ripe. Find the firmest and green mangoes if possible.
- Green apples, green pears, firm and crispy peach, jicama, and guava are great for dipping too.
- The sauce will have a distinctive smell from the fish and dried shrimp. This may take you by surprise but know that it’s completely normal and will go away as soon as you cook the next meal. With strong flavors comes a strong aroma, but the taste is worth it, I promise!
- Chili flakes. This sauce is typically VERY spicy, but this recipe is easily adaptable if you dislike spiciness. You can easily add more towards the end if needed.
What fruit to serve with Spicy Mango Sauce
- Nam Pla Wan sauce is typically paired with thinly sliced young mangoes. Crispy green guava, tart green apples, mature mangoes like Granny Smith apples, or other sour crispy fruits are perfect for dipping the sauce.
- Young and firm peaches, pears, and plums are also amazing for this sauce.
For a vegetarian version, omit the dried shrimp and substitute it with ground nuts for added texture.
If Thai chili flakes are unavailable, use habanero or fresh red chili peppers for an added spicy kick.
Storing leftover Nam Pla Wan
Store any leftover Spicy Mango Dipping Sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Other Thai Recipes You'll Love
- Thai chili dipping sauce
- Prik Nam Pla
- Thai green seafood sauce
- Thai green mango salad with cashew
- Nam Jim Jaeow
- Toasted Rice power
- Thai Shrimp cake with sweet chili sauce
Frequently Asked Questions
Dried dehydrated shrimp is best for this authentic recipe. However, if you can't find them, use fresh smaller shrimp plus a ½ teaspoon of shrimp paste as substitutes to get the umami savory flavors.
Use less chilis in the sauce if you prefer a milder spice level.
Absolutely! The Spicy Mango Dipping Sauce is a delightful salad dressing, adding a tropical twist to your greens.
Dried shrimp can be found in most Asian grocery stores or online. They are typically stored in the refrigerator section. Look for packets with dried small shrimp.
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