Print Options:

Authentic Nam Prik Ong Recipe

Close-up of nam prik ong, a Thai pork and tomato dipping sauce.

Nam prik ong recipe is a mouthwatering Thai pork and tomato dipping sauce from Northern Thailand, especially Chiang Mai. It's perfect with fresh or steamed vegetables, sticky rice, and crunchy pork cracklings, a must-try for any Thai food lover!

Close-up of nam prik ong, a Thai pork and tomato dipping sauce.

For more Northern Thai cuisine recipes, try my irresistible chicken khao soi and the roasted chili dip nam prik noom.

What is nam prik ong

Nam prik ong is a traditional Northern Thai dipping sauce featuring ground pork, tomatoes, garlic, chilies, fish sauce, and more. It has a slightly spicy, savory, and meaty taste that goes perfect with sides like vegetables and sticky rice.

Thai pork and tomato dipping sauce

This Northern Thai dip or nam phrik ong is one of my absolute favorite relishes! It's like a Thai-style bolognese with minced pork, ripe tomatoes, and the heat of spicy chilies.

Nam prik ong close-up. A bright red sauce with tomatoes and pork meat.

Making a Thai pork and tomato chili dip is done with a traditional mortar and pestle. We'll mash the ingredients into a sauce, just like how we prepare Thai red curry paste.

This nam prik ong recipe begins with preparing a bold red chili paste, blending dried chilies, shallots, garlic, and shrimp paste. It's the heart of this dish that gets mixed with juicy ground pork and lots of Thai seasonings.

Nam prik ong, a Thai pork and tomato dipping sauce, served with vegetables and pork cracklings.

Once the grilled tomatoes jump in, the sauce turns into a rich Thai pork and tomato dip that's perfect for the whole family.

As for flavors, expect a balanced blend of spiciness, saltiness, with subtle hints of sweetness and tanginess.

Hand dipping a pork crackling into nam prik ong, a Northern Thai dipping sauce with minced pork and tomatoes.

Ingredients

For the exact measurements, please scroll down to the recipe card at the end of this post.

Ingredients for nam prik ong in glass bowls on a dark wooden table.
  • Pork - Minced pork brings a rich, meaty flavor that's essential for this traditional Thai sauce.
  • Tomatoes - Small red tomatoes or cherry tomatoes add a juicy sweetness which balances the spicy and savory flavors.
  • Shallots
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Tamarind paste - Tamarind paste adds a tangy note to Thai food.
  • Shrimp paste - This staple in Thai cuisine adds umami. If you're not used to shrimp paste, add to taste.
  • Palm sugar - Palm sugar adds a mild, caramel-like sweetness which counters the heat.
  • Fish sauce - Fish sauce is a key ingredient of Thai cuisine for adding a salty, umami flavor.
  • Water - Essential in achieving the right consistency.
  • Small dried chilies - Optional small dried chilies can be added if you like a spicy dipping sauce.
  • Large dried chilies - Large dried chilies add a moderate heat.

Short recipe video

https://www.tiktok.com/@hungryinthailand.com/video/7194458725120314629

Cooking instructions

Soak dried chilies

Start by halving the large dried chilies and soak them in room temperature water with 2 teaspoons of salt. Allow them to soften for about 30 minutes. Drain them afterward to ease the pounding process.

Pound chili paste

Use a granite mortar and pestle to pound the soaked chilies, shallots, garlic, and shrimp paste into a smooth, fine paste.

Make nam prik ong

1: Cook the paste. Heat oil in a large non-stick wok pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the freshly made paste and fry for approx 1 minute, until fragrant.

2: Add minced pork. Stir and cook until the meat is thoroughly cooked, about 1–2 minutes.

3: Add seasonings. Blend in tamarind paste, fish sauce, salt, palm sugar, and tomatoes. Cook until palm sugar has completely dissolved, and the tomatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir regularly.

4: Pour in water. Let it simmer for 1 more minute. Serve hot.

Kitchen tools

  • Cutting board & chef's knife
  • Measuring spoons & cups
  • Granite mortar and pestle

Recipe tips and tricks

  • Use a granite mortar and pestle. A stone mortar and pestle is best for making pastes, and this nam prik ong.
  • Choose ripe tomatoes. Select juicy, small tomatoes for a naturally sweet flavor.
  • Adjust the spice level. The small dried chilies can add extra heat if you like it spicy. Authentic nam prik ong should be mildly spicy.
  • Soak the chilies. Soak the dried chilies to soften them, making them easier to poud into a paste.
  • Taste test. Adjust the amounts of fish sauce, palm sugar, and tamarind paste to balance the salty, sweet, and tangy flavors to your taste.

How to serve

This nam prik dipping sauce is best served with an array of side dishes.

  • Arrange a large serving plate with fresh vegetables such as cucumber, carrots, lettuce, Thai eggplants, and long beans. Raw or cooked.
  • Place the pork and tomato dip in the center.
  • Serve with a side of sticky rice or steamed jasmine rice.
  • Complete with a portion or pork crackling like these hot and spicy pork rinds, a popular addition in Northern Thailand.

How to store

Let your leftovers cool down to room temperature and transfer them to an airtight container. They'll stay fresh for a couple of days.

Reheating instructions: Enjoy the leftovers cooled, or reheat in a pan over low heat until warm.

Frequently asked questions

How spicy is nam prik ong?

The spiciness of nam prik ong can be adjusted by adjusting the amount of dried chilies used in the recipe.

Can I make this in advance?

Totally! You can easily make this in advance and serve it when you're ready. It's great for family gatherings, as you can serve it with a side of fresh vegetables.

More nam prik recipes you'll love

If you loved reading this nam prik ong recipe, please make my day by dropping a star rating and/or a comment below!

Cooking Method ,
Courses ,
Time
Prep Time: 30 min Cook Time: 15 min Total Time: 45 mins
Servings 4
Calories 402
Description

Enjoy the bold flavors of Northern Thailand wiht this nam prik ong recipe.

Ingredients
  • 8 dried chilies (small, to taste)
  • 6 large dried chilies
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup shallots (chop to measure)
  • 1/2 tablespoon shrimp paste
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 2 cups pork (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 cup palm sugar
  • 1.5 tablespoon tamarind paste
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 8 small tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup water
Instructions
  1. Start by halving the large dried chilies and soak them in room temperature water with 2 teaspoons of salt. Allow them to soften for about 30 minutes. Drain them afterward to ease the pounding process.

  2. Use a granite mortar and pestle to pound the soaked chilies, shallots, garlic, and shrimp paste into a smooth, fine paste.

  3. Cook the paste. Heat oil in a large non-stick wok pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the freshly made paste and fry for approx 1 minute, until fragrant.

  4. Add minced pork. Stir and cook until the meat is thoroughly cooked, about 1–2 minutes.

  5. Add seasonings. Blend in tamarind paste, fish sauce, salt, palm sugar, and tomatoes. Cook until palm sugar has completely dissolved, and the tomatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir regularly.

  6. Pour in water. Let it simmer for 1 more minute. Serve hot.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 4


Amount Per Serving
Calories 402kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 24.1g38%
Saturated Fat 1.8g9%
Total Carbohydrate 22.1g8%
Dietary Fiber 2.4g10%
Sugars 11.5g
Protein 24.9g50%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Note
  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • Use a granite mortar and pestle.
  • Authentic nam prik ong should be mildly spicy. Adjust chilies to your personal spice level.
  • Traditionally served with fresh veggies, sticky rice and pork crackling.
Keywords: nam prik ong, authentic nam prik ong recipe

Thank you so much for trying my recipe!