Recipe: Carolina reaper in a northern Thai style chili sauce: “Naam prikh noum”

Paul reached out to me and wanted to share this Naam prikh noum with Carolina reaper recipe with the hot sauce community. Thanks Paul!


The idea first sprung from a gift of six Carolina reapers pods, of which I've saved three pods for growing later on, and so I decided to use three in a recipe.


The chili recipe is for a northern Thai chili dip called “Naam prikh noum”, a fresh chili pepper dip eaten with fresh vegetables or even simply with sticky rice. Traditionally, this recipe is mainly made with Thai green chilies, however, I’ve had other equally authentic recipes which were red and green chilies and tomatoes. This is what I went for.

My recipe as follows.


  • 3 Carolina reaper pods (if dried, reconstitute in a little warm water)
  • 3 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 1 medium shallot
  • 6 to 8 heirloom cherry tomatoes (any cherry tomatoes can do)
  • Cilantro
  • Fish sauce (2 teaspoons)
  • Lime juice (2 teaspoons)
  • Salt

If the Carolinas are previously dried, reconstitute in just a little warm water without pressing the pods. Lightly smash the garlic. Cut shallot length-wise into 3-4 pieces.

Put Carolinas, shallots, garlic, tomatoes on an oven tray, and broil on high intensity for like 5 mins, or until dark brown (even if some blackened surface show, it is fine), and try to ensure all surfaces are broiled, so flip them once or twice. Let everything cool completely.

Put all broiled items into a mortar, add cut 1 tablespoon of cilantro leaves and some stems, and mash (carolinas, tomatoes, garlic and shallots should be mashed, no large chunks if possible). Add two teaspoons of fish sauce, two of lime juice, and a pinch of salt. Mix well, and it's ready to serve as a dip for fresh raw carrots, cabbage, string beans. This makes enough for one dip.


An alternative option, is the same process as above, except at the end instead of using the mortar and pestle to mash, just use a blender to make a fine liquid hot sauce. Use this sauce to add heat and sour profiles to a BBQ sauce or marinade, or a few drops next to a steak or in a chili con carne recipe.


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