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Nam Prik Kapi Recipe (วิธีทำ น้ำพริกกะปิ)

Updated: Jun 24, 2021

Nam prik kapi (น้ำพริกกะปิ) is a household Thai food, available nearly everywhere and widely loved. The main ingredient is fermented shrimp paste, which is pounded along with chilies, garlic, and lime juice to create a beautiful Thai chili dipping sauce that’s well rounded with flavor. I’m a huge fan of nam prik kapi, and I think it makes a wonderful condiment to eat with a full meal of meal of vegetables, rice, and fish. This recipe is easy to make, and mostly just requires pounding and mixing up all the ingredients. Enjoy!

Author: Mak Wiens ( Recipe type: chili sauce Cuisine: Thai food Serves: 1 bowl of sauce


  • 2 tbsp fermented shrimp paste (I used paste made from krill)

  • 2 - 3 small Thai shallots

  • 1 head of garlic

  • 30 - 50 Thai bird’s eye chilies

  • 20 pea eggplant (optional)

  • ½ tbsp palm sugar

  • 3 - 5 tbsp lime juice (start with 3 and keep taste testing)


  1. The first step is to take 2 tbsp of shrimp paste, flatten it out into a little patty, and grill it over high heat charcoal. You should immediately start to smell the aroma of the shrimp paste. Allow the shrimp paste to just sizzle for about a minute on either side, then remove from the grill. This step is optional, but it increases the fragrance of the shrimp paste. Set aside.

  2. Peel the shallots and garlic, and rip off the stems of the Thai bird's eye chilies.

  3. In a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic, shallots, and chilies for about 10 minutes until you get a nice semi-smooth oily paste.

  4. Add about 10 pea eggplant to the mortar, and gently crush them, just to release the seeds.

  5. Then add the shrimp paste and palm sugar to the mortar, and pound and mix simultaneously for about a minute until the mixture is even.

  6. Then add about 3 tbsp of lime juice to start and mix everything together, still in the mortar, with a spoon.

  7. Now to taste test. The nam prik kapi (น้ำพริกกะปิ) should be like a sauce in texture, and should be salty, sour, and spicy, with only a faint hint of sweetness. Add more lime juice or chilies as needed to balance the taste.

  8. Once finished, garnish with whole Thai bird’s eye chilies and more pea eggplant.

  9. For the vegetables, either serve them raw, or blanch in hot water for 1 - 2 minutes.

Notes Serve nam prik kapi (น้ำพริกกะปิ) with any kind of vegetables, fish, omelets, and hot steamed rice. Thank you very much for reading and cooking this recipe.

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