Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Kalyn's Kitchen Picks: Thai Chili Garlic Paste

Thai Chili Garlic PasteI should probably confess right now that I'm a bit of a condiment freak. At any given time I normally have 40-50 different types of sauces, pastes, mustards, and other assorted bottles of things of various nationalities in my refrigerator. That's why it was surprising recently when I found a recipe I wanted to try which called for Thai Chili Garlic Paste, and even though I absolutely love Thai food, I didn't have anything by that name in the fridge!

There were probably things I could have substituted, but since I was making this dish for the blog I wanted to use what the recipe called for, so I picked some up at my local grocery store, where it was hanging out in Asian foods. I have no idea if this is an authentic Thai ingredient, but I love the taste of this stuff. I like spicy food, while at the same time being a bit of a lightweight when it comes to chile peppers, but to me, this has just the right degree of spicy hotness combined with a vinegar-garlic combination that's perfect. Read on to see what I made with this new favorite ingredient, plus a second recipe I've used it in, and links for some other Thai-inspired recipes that might make your tastebuds happy if you like Thai food.

Did you guess that Spicy Cucumber Salad with Thai Basil and Sesame Seeds was the recipe I found where I needed Thai Chili Garlic Paste and discovered I didn't have any? I loved this salad as much as I did the Chili Garlic Paste!

To make my new sauce discovery even more fun, the fabulous Tanna from the beautiful blog My Kitchen in Half Cups tried the same salad after I posted it and also raved about how great it tasted. "Just the right spicy" is what Tanna said, and I agree!

When I was looking for something to spice up a chicken marinade, I added a dash of chili garlic paste in the marinade for Roasted Chicken Thighs with Black Bean Garlic Marinade. Another winner.

How Can You Get Some?
I'm sorry to report that although I found a website for the company that makes this product, they don't seem to sell things online. When I googled Dynasty Thai Chili Garlic Paste, I found it listed on Amazon.com, but there was a notice that it was currently unavailable. I hope you can find it in your local store, sold near Asian foods. I'm also guessing there are other brands for this type of chili garlic paste that are good, and possibly even more authentic than this one. If anyone has a favorite brand, please leave the name in the comments.

Here are other things I've chosen as Kalyn's Kitchen Picks.

More Tasty Blogs or Dishes with Thai Flavors:
Thai Chicken Soup
Wake Up Your Mouth Thai Cucumber Salad
Thai Barbecue Chicken with Cilantro
Pad Thai for Beginners from Chez Pim
Pim's Pad Thai from Nook and Pantry
Spicy Thai Noodle Salad from A Veggie Venture
Thai Green Curry from Tigers and Strawberries
Thai Beef Salad from What Did You Eat
Thai Style Chile Beef from Nook and Pantry
Great photos and descriptions of many Thai dishes from Real Thai
Great Thai Recipes from Appon's Thai Food Recipescounter customizable free hit

9 comments:

Peter M said...

Kalyn, a timely post. I went to my Asian market and found many thai garlic chili pastes and I think they are also known as "sambal olek". If they are one & the same, perhaps folks will find this product easier?

Lydia said...

How does this compare to the Chinese chili paste with garlic? I'm addicted to the Lan Chi brand, which is thicker (and spicier) than sambal oelek, but I've not used the Thai version. Of course you know I'm a bit of a condiment addict, too....

Chris said...

I haven't done anything at home with pastes...I need to get on the ball!

Kalyn said...

Peter and Lydia, I confess I don't know the difference between these types of Asian chile pastes! I do kind of think this is a bit different than either of the two you're describing. I found this description of Sambal Oelek which says it's made with chiles and no garlic or spices. This has vinegar and garlic both. It's quite flavorful as well as being spicy. Will look for the Lan Chi chili paste with garlic and compare the ingredients.

Chris, you can never have too many condiments, that's my motto! (At least Lydia has as many condiments as I do, so people can't say I'm obsessive about them!)

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I think we can say your obsessive about condiments Kalyn you're just not alone, you're in very good company!
I did like this Thai Chili Garlic Paste and the salad and I'm going to try marinating some meat sometime or a hint of it on shrimp soon. I have some Sambal Oelek but haven't opened it yet.
Thanks for the mention and such very kind words!

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Chile/garlic sauce is popular here in America and usually made with a strong chile pepper such as habanero. In Thailand this kind of sauce is usually served as a dipping with Chinese food, served in a small dish, about 3 parts chile/garlic sauce and 1 part black rice vinegar. Dynasty is a brand name and I believe it's made in China. If you love condiments you might try adding your own fried garlic to whatever chile sauce you have for great results. Glad you like Thai food, and enjoy to cook. -Yaowalak

Kalyn said...

Yaowalak, thanks for the info. I love the sound of this combined with Chinese black vinegar, and guess what, I have a bottle of that black vinegar in my cupboard!

swirlingnotions said...

Yum, yum, yum. I just made a long-overdue trip to my Asian market last weekend and am raring to go! And with the last of the cukes from the garden, mmm, mmm, mmm.

About sambal olek vs. thai chile paste, I believe they're just different names for different styles of chile sauces from different cultures.

Thanks for the suggestion and recipes Kalyn!

aria said...

yum i love this sauce. i use it alot with coconut milk and fish.

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