Vegan Thai Fried Rice With Nam Prik Pao

Nam Prik Pao is nothing but Thai chili paste or jam. This paste is packed with flavors and you just need a teaspoon or two to get all the flavors you love about Thai food. Traditionally Nam Prik Pao is made with shrimp or shrimp paste but this recipe has veganized a 200 year old recipe from Thailand. Throw in some nutty, fibrous brown rice and few veggies along with nam prik pao and you have the most delicious Thai fried rice ready in minutes.

thai fried rice

Ingredients for Nam prik pao

10 large dried red chilies, seeds removed or 6 fresh red Thai chilies ( I used dried)

3 cloves garlic

1/4 large onion, peeled and cut into quarters

1 large shiitake mushroom

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons tamarind paste or distilled white vinegar


1. Preheat oven to 400F. Place garlic cloves, onions and fresh chilies on a baking sheet. If you are using dried chilies, just place onions and garlic on a baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes and allow to cool to room temperature.

2. Gently squeeze the garlic to extract roasted garlic and discard the peels.

3. Place garlic, chilies, onions and mushrooms in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is finely and evenly chopped.

4. Place the chopped vegetables, sugar, water, and tamarind paste (or vinegar) in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently. If the paste begins to boil, reduce the heat and continue simmering until the mixture becomes smooth and thick, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. This recipe will yield about 1/2 cup of Nam prik pao.

Ingredients for fried rice

2 cups cold, cooked brown or white long grain rice

1 tablespoon oil

1.5 tablespoons nam prik pao

1 large red bell pepper, cut into ½-inch cubes

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1/4 medium yellow or red onion, finely chopped ( I used a bunch of green onions)

1/4 cup grated or diced carrots

1/4 cup baby corn ( optional)


handful of Thai basil leaves ( optional)

pan fried tofu (optional)


1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add chopped onions and cook till they turn soft and translucent.

2. Add red peppers, mushrooms, carrots and baby corn. Stir fry for about 5-7minutes.

3. Add Nam prik pao and rice, stir till rice is hot and coated with seasoning. If you are using pan fried tofu, add at this stage and mix well. Season with salt.

4. Remove from heat, add chopped Thai basil, mix well and serve.


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