Nam Prik

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Nam Prik is the name given to chilli pastes that we eat with rice and other dishes. There are many brands and many flavours, in this entry I'm going to take you through some of the more common ones.

Firstly the above one is Nam Prik Mang-da. Mang-da is a large winged insect about 8 cms long that lives in rice fields and is eaten in the East of Thailand. At night it flies around bright lights, making it easy to catch. The authentic paste contains that insect ground up, and more common supermarket brands have an artificial flavour instead.
Like many things mang-da started out as food for poor farmers, but became a more expensive almost luxury food. The 5 Mang-da I photographed in the ingredients section, were more expensive than a full rack of pork ribs.

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This one is grilled fish flavoured nam prik. It has a fishing slightly smokey flavour to it with a very dry texture. This one is a personal favorite.

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This one is grilled shrimp nam prik, this one is more soft and smooth than the grilled fish one. (It's in a little plastic bag inside the pot.)

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This one is hell shrimp, called because it is very very spicy and the spicy hits you immediately and all in one go.

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Nam prik red eye, the heat from the spice comes later, giving you red eyes. It doesn't taste so spicy at first.

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