Ingredient Notes, Cook’s Tips, and FAQs
- Thai Chili Paste/Chili Jam (Nam Prik Pao): This is a savory-sweet chili paste that has the texture of jam. It is available in small glass jars and goes by “Thai chili paste”, “roasted chili paste”, and “roasted chili paste in soybean oil”. Look for it in Thai or Asian grocery stores, or purchase it online. I use Mae Pranom brand, which is less sweet than the Pantainorasingh (Pantai) brand Thai chili paste. When making the sauce, avoid adding too much oil from the jar and use mostly the paste. You can use this condiment in other stir-fries, soups, and in sandwiches too. It will last for a few months in the fridge once opened.
- Tamarind Paste/Concentrate: This sour and slightly sweet paste comes in small jars, and can be found in the Asian aisle of some large supermarkets, Asian and Thai grocery stores, or purchased online. I use Talad Thai brand. Some brands are more sour than others, so you may need to use more or less of the paste than what I’ve indicated. Make sure to use a Thai tamarind paste and not an Indian one. The latter is black and sticky, and not ideal for this recipe.
- Chilies: Use less or more Bird’s Eye and Prik Kee Nu chilies based on your heat level preference. The large red chili is mainly used for color and is very mild. Substitute it with sliced red bell pepper, or leave it out if you wish.
- White Sugar: Depending on how sweet your Thai chili paste is, you may not need to add any sugar (I didn’t as I find that the Thai chili paste from Mae Pranom brand is plenty sweet enough for me). You may want to taste your Thai chili paste on its own to gauge how sweet it is and decide if you need to add any sugar to the stir-fry sauce.
- See ‘Variations’ section in the post above if you’d like to customize this stir-fry.