Nam Jim Jaew – Spicy Thai dressing


Nam Jim Jaew – Spicy Thai dressing

This sauce is out of this world delicious! It’s citrusy, sweet, spicy and sour. It goes fantastically with our Thai beef salad, but you can also use it with any grilled meats. If you like less heat just adjust the chilli ratios to suit your preference.

Prep Time:

Cook Time:



1 Tbsp tamarind (we used the tamarind block soaked in water-see method)

1.5 Tbsp fish sauce

Juice of 2 Limes (approx ¼ cup or slightly more)

2 red chillis finely chopped 

1 shallot finely diced 

1.5 Tbsp toasted rice powder – optional  (see method)

1/4 cup coriander finely chopped 

1.5 Tbsp palm sugar – shaved off the block with your knife (or brown sugar)

Cooking Instructions

First get 2 Tblspns of Thai jasmine rice and place on a medium heat in a dry pan. Toast this for about 10-15 minutes until nice and golden, then crush into a fine powder with a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder. This step is optional but recommended as the traditional recipe’s use this. It is also good without if you decide to skip this step. Next break off approximately 1 Tblspn off your tamarind block and break apart into a few pieces. Cover this with boiling water until completely covered, about 3 Tblspns. Let this sit to soften for about 5 minutes. Once the water has cooled enough for you to touch, put your fingers in and try and mush all of the tamarind pulp out of the solid parts until you get a thicker paste and all the water is mixed in. Then remove the solid parts and discard. You now have your tamarind purée. You  can buy this already in a purée but we find the flavour non comparable so if you can find the block it’s a better option. Now mix all of your other ingredients together with the tamarind purée. If you do not have palm sugar you can substitute for brown sugar but start with less as it will be sweeter than palm sugar. You can always taste and adjust to suit your preference.