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General Discussion

Help me identify ingredient in Thai chili paste

bmorecupcake | Apr 24, 201406:05 PM     5

At a Songkran festival this month, I purchased a deep-red colored Thai chili paste which contains small, black, gummy-textured chunks of something I can't identify. I was told the paste contained fish but no meat ingredients of any kind. From past experience, however, sometimes people forget they used a meat ingredient. Can anyone help me identify this mystery ingredient? The texture is like gummy bears and it's difficult to describe the flavor given then amount of chili in this paste (even after washing). My best guess is dried shitake mushroom, rehydrated and maybe cooked somehow. But I don't know if dried shitakes are used in any Thai food. I also remember the vendor telling me to eat the paste with steamed rice or green beans. I asked if this paste was the nam phrik phao used for tom yum and was told it was somewhat similar, but not exactly that.

Bonus points for helping me identify the name of another sauce I purchased which contains chunks of fish. The color of this one is orangish, it packs a decent amount of heat, and it was available raw or cooked. I liked both, so I purchased raw because I can cook it myself later. This one is also intended for eating with rice.

Google hasn't turned up anything for me. Maybe I'm using the wrong search keywords.

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