Nam Prik Ong is another dish with its origins in the Shan communities, which is very popular in the Northern parts of Thailand. It is made from ground pork, small round tomatoes, and chili paste. Nam Prik Ong is served like a dip and eaten with sticky rice, crispy pork and an assortment of fresh seasonal vegetables such as beans, cucumber, white cabbage and Thai eggplant. Nam Prik Ong is usually part of the dishes served at Kantoke dinners.
First, you make the curry paste, then fry it in oil, add the ground pork and lastly the tomatoes. While it is simmering to melt into a juicy sauce, you can clean and prepare the vegetables.
It is possible to skip the Thua Nao, if you cannot get it, and still achieve a tasty dish. The tomatoes used in Thailand is a local sour and juicy kind, quite small in size. I would recommend, that you choose the ripest cherry tomatoes you can find. The fresh vegetables listed in the recipe to be eaten with the dip are just suggestions based on what Nam Prik Ong is most commonly served within Thailand. You can eat it with whatever you have at hand, such as carrots, cauliflower etc.
Some recipes advice to add the ground pork to the curry paste, and mix it well together, before frying it. I always keep it separate and fry the curry paste first, then add the ground pork, and the tomatoes last, as this is how I was taught to do it by various Thai friends.
If you made Khanom Jin Nam Ngiao, but held back a bit on the curry paste in fear of the soup getting too spicy, you can use the remaining paste for Nam Prik Ong, as the ingredients are almost the same. Galangal is not part of the curry paste recipe for Nam Prik Ong, but it will be a problem to use paste, where it is included.
I have an American friend who loves Nam Prik Ong, but always refers to it as “Thai spaghetti”. And I believe it could actually work as a spicy Thai version of spaghetti Bolognese. Feel free to try, if at some point you get tired of eating it the traditional way!
I hope, you will enjoy making and eating this dish. Please leave a comment below, as I would love to hear about it!
Nam Prik Ong - spicy pork and tomato dip
- 300 gr. minced pork
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup chicken broth/water
- 1 tbsp coriander leaves
- Curry paste:
- 10 pcs. dried guajillo chilies
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 disk Tua Nao
- 1 stalk lemongrass
- 5 big garlic cloves
- 8 shallots
- 2 tsp kapi
- Vegetables on the side:
- Thai eggplant
- Long beans
- White cabbage
- Step 1 Fry the Thua Nao on a dry pan until fragrant.
- Step 2 Make the curry paste in the following order: pound the Thua Nao with the salt, then add lemongrass. Pound until it is well mixed together, then add the shallots, garlic and lastly the kapi. Pound everything until it becomes a smooth paste.
- Step 3 Heat the oil in a wok, chop 2 garlic cloves in smaller pieces and fry in the oil until lightly golden. Add the curry paste and fry until fragrant.
- Step 4 Add the pork and stir well until the meat is tender.
- Step 5 Lastly add the tomatoes. They can be pounded lightly first in the mortar to help release the juice. When the tomatoes begin to soften, add the chicken broth and cook for another 10 min.s.
- Step 6 In the meantime, clean and cut the vegetables.
- Step 7 Taste and season with salt and sugar as needed.
- Step 8 Put in a bowl and top with coriander leaves.
- Step 9 Serve with sticky rice, crispy pork, and assorted seasonal vegetables.