Prik kaeng phet (phet means hot)
Thai Condiments Spices
Last updated 6/12/2012 1:19:07 AM. Recipe ID 50307. Report a problem with this recipe.
Title: Prik kaeng phet (phet means hot)
Categories: Thai, Condiments, Spices
Yield: 2 Cups
1 c Prik ki nu daeng
(red chilis), prepared
5 tb Lemon grass, finely sliced
10 tb Shallots (purple onions),
10 tb Garlic, minced
5 tb Galangal (kha) grated
5 tb Coriander/cilantro root,
2 tb Coriander seed
1 tb Cumin seed
1 tb Freshly ground
2 tb Shredded bai makroot
4 tb Kapi (fermented shrimp
(Note that except for the sugar and the use of red chilis this is the
same as the prik kaeng kiao wan)
Follow the same procedure: toast and grind the dry seeds, and then
blend all ingredients to a fine paste
If you can't get prik ki nu, you can use half a pound of habanero
chilis or one pound of jalapena chilis. If you use the latter deseed
them before use. Note that if you use a substitute you will get a
different volume of paste, and that you will need to use different
amounts in subsequent recipes.
If you can't get kha use ginger if you can't get bai makroot use lime
zest if you can't get coriander root, use coriander leaves. Thai
'curries' are typically made using a 'curry' paste. However that is an
oversimplification: firstly the word used for these dishes in Thai is
kaeng (pronounced 'gang') and it covers soups, stews and of course
curries. A paste which is used could be used just as well for a soup
as for a curry.
Secondly of course it is not true that Thais call them curry: the
word for curry is kari and it is only applied to a small number of
dishes: the dishes that appear on western Thai restaurant menues as
'curries' are kaengs, and they are made not with curry paste but with
a sauce made from prik kaeng (which in this case could be translated
better as chili paste).
There are many different prik kaeng in Thai cuisine and from them you
could make a vast number of different dishes by using different
protein ingredients, and vegetable ingredients and so on to the
extent that it is said that most Thai housewives could cook a
different kaeng every day of the year.
However if you know the four basic pastes listed here, and the basic
techniques from my next posting, you can make a vast array of dishes,
if not perhaps quite one per day for a year.
A rough rule of thumb is that one cup of raw chilis yields a cup or
so of paste (since there is air in the chilis). Further it will keep
about 3 months in a preserving jar in the fridge.
Since the average kaeng will require (depending on how hot you make
it) between 2 and 8 tablespoons of paste, and since there are roughly
16 tablespoons in a cup, you can scale this recipe up to suit your
needs. Suffice it to say that we make these pastes on a cycle over 8
weeks and make 6-8 portions of each of them. As they say in US motor
advertisements: your mileage may vary!
Colonel Ian F. Khuntilanont-Philpott
Systems Engineering, Vongchavalitkul University, Korat 30000, Thailand
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