A wise man says “If you want to live a healthy life, eat well.”  I believe that this might come from a man who loves eating. Thankfully, it is true. However, eating well should not mean to indulge yourself in the most decadent food or to eat tasteless food or become a vegan. I think it’s about avoiding processed foods and eating clean, whole foods. And you can do it without sacrificing taste. The key is to eat in moderation.

A modern life style seem to make people on a rush on everything, including our eating behavior. It’s rather difficult to have healthy food on every meal, especially for those living in the city. We tend to grab anything that could make us full and go back to work. If that is the case, you should at least try to eat healthy during the weekend.

Actually, healthy food is around you.  You don’t have to go to any restaurant to get it. Actually, many Thai dishes are known for its medicinal benefits. Cook your own meals at home with your family on the weekend can be enjoyable. Of course, not everyone is a good cook, but everyone can cook a healthy food.  A simple and tasty Thai food that I would like to recommend is chili dip or Nhaam Prik. It is one of the dishes that is simple to make and packed with spice and herbs. It pairs well with grilled mackerel or ‘Pla Tu Yang’ and fresh vegetable. Have it together with brown rice, you will get full of essential nutrients.

The ingredients in making shrimp paste chili dip

The ingredients in making shrimp paste chili dip

In making the chili dip, you just need a good quality of shrimp paste.  My grandmother preferred shrimp paste from Rayong Province for its pink color. Other ingredients are fresh bird-chilies, a few cloves of Chinese garlic, palm sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, a small amount of drinking water.  The cooking process is easy and quick. You just pound chilies, red onions and shallots until they are blended well. Add shrimp paste and mash them up. Then, season it with lime juice, palm sugar and, if necessary, fish sauce to your taste.

For my grandma recipe, the taste of Nhaam Prik should start from sour followed by salty and spicy hot with little sweet.  If the paste is too thick, you can add a little of drinking water to soften the paste, but not too much.  Sometimes, people top it up with fresh chili for decoration and packing up more heat to the paste. Boiled shrimps or fish meat can be added to the paste, too.

Photo Credit: Ms. Nongyao Sangmala

Photo Credit: Ms. Nongyao Sangmala

Nhaam Prik Kapi or Thai Shrimp Paste Chili Dip is easy to make. The ingredients are available in most kitchens in Thailand.  The medicinal properties of the herbs and spices used in Thai cooking create a wonderful taste and is good for your health.