On my recent trip to the States I visited the beloved Trader Joe’s again, as with all my trips down South. This time one of the products that caught my eye was the Trader Joe’s Thai “Dry” Chili Paste. As Hitman is a huge fan of Thai food, I thought I could make good use of this seasoning paste at home. Plus, it was only $0.99!
This is a vegan paste made of fried mushrooms and various spices and seasonings such as tamarind, coconut sugar, lemon grass, Kaffir lime leaves, and of course the namesake dried chili.
I had a taste of it by itself, just a tiny amount. It’s savory and a bit sweet, but very fragrant of mushrooms. I wouldn’t say that this spice mixture is as “moderately spicy” as the label says, I would say there’s just a kick, unless you eat it by the spoonfuls.
There’s a multitude of uses for this product, as many as you can come up with. For dinner one night I used it three ways: in the rice, on the veggie stir fry, and on the fish. All dishes basically consisted of adding the spice mix as it is cooking. Here are the extremely simple recipes:
Spiced Brown Rice
- 1 cup of rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp Trader Joe’s Thai “Dry” Chili Paste
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil
- When water boils, add your rice and chili paste.
- Cover pot and turn heat down to a simmer.
- Cook for 1 hour. Do not lift lid. Then take off of heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
Veggie Stir fry
- 1 tsp oil
- 2 cups veggies
- 1 tsp Ponzu
- 1 tbsp Trader Joe’s Thai “Dry” Chili Paste (or to taste)
- Heat 1 tsp oil in fry pan on medium low heat.
- When heated, add veggies and Ponzu. Stir fry until almost cooked through.
- Add chili paste and stir fry some more till cooked.
Pan-Grilled Sole Filet
- Oil spray for grill pan
- 4 frozen sole filets (use any fish you want. My portion is for 2 filet per person)
- 4 tsp Ponzu
- 4 squirts lemon juice
- 2 tsp Trader Joe’s Thai “Dry” Chili Paste (or to taste)
- Spray grill pan with oil spray. Heat at medium heat.
- When pan is hot, place filets on pan. Squirt each slice with 1 squirt lemon juice and 1 tsp ponzu sauce.
- Flip fish over after 3 minutes. Spread half tsp Trader Joe’s Thai “Dry” Chili Paste onto each slice. Cook through.
That’s it! Aside from waiting for the rice to cook, the rest only takes around 15-20 minutes to cook!
Overall I really like this product. I’ve only had it for 3 days and already used half a jar (it’s not a big jar), and have already asked Aunt Aggy to get me more!!