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Chillies soaked in soy sauce (prik nam pla jay – พริกน้ำปลาเจ)

Less a recipe than an instruction for how to make one of the most utilised condiments in Thai cuisine, this vegan variation is an easy to make staple to keep on the table. Traditionally this would be made with fish sauce. Thin soy sauce is less salty, and hence adding a little bit of salt. If you can find a good vegan fish sauce (the ingredients should only include salt, soy, and perhaps some colouring agent, but never sugar or vinegar), use that. This condiment adds heat, salt, and umami to a range of dishes, from noodle soups to fried rice.
Cuisine: Thai


  • bird's eye chillies green and/or red
  • Thin soy sauce or vegan fish sauce (see notes)
  • a pinch or three salt, if using soy sauce


  • Cut the chillies into ¼-½ centimetre pieces. Tip them in a jar and pour soy sauce over to cover. If you're using soy sauce, add a generous pinch or two of salt per 3-4 tablespoons soy sauce.


Since this is a Thai condiment, I use Thai soy sauce. Soy sauces from different countries feature varying flavour profiles.
Here are a couple of posts, both of which I recommend reading if you are interested in Thai cuisine, with more in depth explanations.