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Young Chili Dip | Nam Prik Noom | น้ำพริกหนุ่ม

After 44 years of marriage, my dad still manages to surprise my mom. It might not be in big ways like when they were first dating, but in smaller everyday things.

Like when he overheard me telling my mom about this Thai young chili dip known as nam prik noom on the phone. I had just learned how to make it and was telling her about how roasting the jalapenos, banana peppers, garlic, and shallots really brings out their flavors.  After hearing this, my dad stealthily snuck outside to pick some jalapenos from the garden and then overnighted them to me, all without my mom’s knowledge. It wasn’t until I called the next day to thank my mom for the wonderfully thoughtful package that she had any idea what he had been up to!

Of course, after receiving these gorgeous home-grown jalapenos, I had to put them to good use!  I whipped one or two into some Thai-style fried eggs, but the majority were earmarked for this delicious young chili dip that I had been telling my mom about.  The dip is really very easy to make and oh, it’s so good!  It’s composed of just jalapenos, banana peppers, garlic, and shallots, but somehow the flavor is much more complex than that.

You start by roasting or grilling these ingredients, whole and unpeeled.

Once everything is nice and charred and flavorful, you pound them together to form a paste similar in consistency to, say, guacamole.  Then fish sauce is added to taste and the dip is topped with some coarsely-chopped cilantro.  I’ve also found that I like adding sesame seeds for some additional texture, but if you’re going for an authentic version, it’s probably best to skip this.

What results is a super flavorful, somewhat spicy dip that’s the perfect complement to steamed or fresh vegetables.  It is also generally served with some deep-fried pork rinds (cab moo /แคบหมู), which is something that the boyfriend reminds me of every time I serve it to him with just vegetables.  And, as with most Thai dishes, pair all of the above with some jasmine rice and you have a wonderful meal!

Whatever way you eat this young chili dip, it’s a great way to use home-grown jalapenos!  (Thanks, Dad :))

Young Chili Dip | Nam Prik Noom | น้ำพริกหนุ่ม

Makes 4 servings

Young Chili Dip | Nam Prik Noom | น้ำพริกหนุ่ม


  • 2 heads garlic
  • 4 large shallots
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 4 banana peppers
  • 1 Tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped


  1. Heat the oven to high broil. Place the whole garlic, shallots, and peppers in the oven for 30 minutes, turning them at the 15 minute mark. Take out and let cool for ~1 hour.
  2. Once cooled, take the charred skin off the peppers, de-seed them, and cut each into 4-5 pieces.
  3. Unwrap the garlic cloves and squeeze the cooked garlic into a bowl. Do the same for the shallots.
  4. You should have approximately 1/4 cup of each of the peppers, garlic, and shallots. Combine the 1/4 cup of each in your mortar and pestle and pound into a paste.
  5. Add the fish sauce and adjust to your tastes.
  6. Sprinkle coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and toasted sesame seeds (if using) on top. Enjoy with fresh or steamed vegetables, deep fried pork rinds, and jasmine rice.


7 comments… add one
  • JazzBruce August 1, 2015, 1:18 pm

    Rachel, I believe that you said that your “boyfriend” reminds you to include pork rinds when serving the dip. What does your nice Thai husband think?

    • Rachel August 3, 2015, 2:54 pm

      Haha :) They are one in the same… Thai boyfriend became Thai hubby in Oct 2014 :)

  • John January 15, 2013, 12:34 am

    Rachel this must be the dip you gave me when you were home for the holidays. You said it turned out to hot and insisted I take it home. It did not last an hour once I added celery…

    • Rachel January 15, 2013, 2:58 am

      Yep, this was the dip! I’m glad you liked it :)

  • Cath December 15, 2012, 6:13 pm

    Thanks Rachel,

    I’ll post a comment when I succeed.

  • Cath December 12, 2012, 7:54 am


    Your dad is a sweetheart! You and your mother is so lucky and blessed. Ah, if the japanenos could be substituted what would it be? It’s not that abundant or available yet in my area ( I’m from the southern most part of the Philippines).
    Any suggestions?
    Thank you.

    • Rachel December 13, 2012, 12:29 am

      Thanks, Cath :) I’ve seen other recipes that use Anaheim peppers instead of jalapenos, if they would be easier to find.

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