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Mar 16, 2014 01:55 PM

Ideas for Thai chlii paste

My wandering eyes stumbled upon Thai dry chili paste at Trader Joe's today and now I'm searching for ways to use it. Is it something I could just toss into a quick chicken and veggie stir fry? I imagine a little goes a long way. Do you have any favorite uses or ideas?

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  1. I haven't heard of anything translated as "dry chili paste" before; does it resemble this stuff? ?

    If so, I know it as "roasted chile paste": Thais eat it plain, on toast or as a dip for veggies, as well as using it as an ingredient. I don't know if it's traditionally used in stir-fries, but I don't see why you couldn't try it.

    I personally use it pretty much exclusively for Thai hot and sour soup; it's a bit much for me by itself. Not the heat per se, just the intensity of flavor. I don't know about the TJ's product, but the Thai stuff has various pungent ingredients like dried shrimp as well as the roasted chiles.

    8 Replies
    1. re: MikeG

      Thanks that's what it looks like. It includes tamarind, lemongrass and a few other things I can't remember off hand.

      1. re: fldhkybnva

        Just noticed the other ingredients. It's not roasted chili paste if it has tamarind and lemongrass. Still could be good in a stir fry though.

        1. re: ARenko

          I finally managed to get off my butt and check the cupboard. My jar (Maesri brand, labelled in English as "Chilli Paste in Soybean Oil") does list tamarind as an ingredient, but not lemongrass. The full ingredients list is: sugar, soybean oil, garlic, shallot, dried chilli, tamarind juice, fish sauce, salt, and dried shrimp.

          1. re: MikeG

            I've yet to get off my butt but I was able to move my fingers enough to search Google and I think the TJS paste has " dried mushrooms, tamarind paste, coconut sugar, dried chili, lemongrass, garlic, shallot, and soy sauce."

            1. re: fldhkybnva

              Hmm, I guess it's still worth trying in a stir-fry, but it sounds (to my taste, at least), like something more to be used as a sort of soup-base than in a stir-fry.

              1. re: MikeG

                Thanks, soup sounds nice. This is what I get for random buys at the grocery store.

                1. re: fldhkybnva

                  I don't have a recipe at hand, but for a starting point, you can google "Tom Yum Goong", for a bunch of recipes for the soup I was thinking of.

          2. re: ARenko

            I was thinking of turmeric not tamarind. My homemade paste does use tamarind. Not lemongrass though. Also checked my store-bought paste (Pantainorasingh brand). It's sugar 25%, shallot 15%, soyabean oil 15%, garlic 15%, dried chile 10%, fish sauce 10%, dried shrimp 5%, tamarind paste 5%.

            Anyway, it's good in stir fry's and used in soups as well. Here's some good info on it...


      2. If it's roasted chili paste as MikeG suggests, you can use it in a stir fry. Fry up some garlic in oil, add a spoonful of chili paste, fry for a minute, then add your protein/ fish sauce/ sugar. Cook 'till near done and then add thai basil and cook until wilted. That's my go to squid stir fry.

        1. The label is
          Thai "dry' chili paste moderately spicy

          ingredients: fried mushroom tamarind paste, oil, sugar, coconut sugar, dried chili, elmon grass, garlic etc.

          I'm using it (slowly) like I would any Thai curry paste. For example, a soup made with (udon) noodles, coconut milk, shallots, chopped 'choy', fish sauce, and paste to taste.

          Ingredients are similar to the vegetarian (no shrimp) version of Nam Prik Pao, but in dry paste form (and light on the chilis.

          "Nam phrik phao (Thai: น้ำพริกเผา) is sweetened with sugar with, among other ingredients, roasted chilies and tamarind. It is popular as a spread on bread or toast. It can also be used as an ingredient, for instance in tom yum or in the Thai salad with squid called phla pla muek."

          1. I bought this product specifically to make the Tangy Thai Chicken Meatballs. My family liked them. Now I still have the rest of the jar but haven't made anything else yet.


            1. Re: product discontinued: I just used the Trader Joes Product Information form on their Contact Us page asking about this product. They said sales didn’t meet quota but if there was adequate outcry fro customers, they’d consider bringing it back. So take five to fill in the form! You never know…thx!!