Thai food has such great flavor. The combination of ingredients sweet, sour, hot and salty bring such depth to each dish. There are no one note dishes but lovely melodies in every bite. Thai chili paste is often found in these dishes but store bought paste contains too many unhealthy ingredients and fish as well. Here is a vegan version of Thai chili paste that is easy to make. I make a batch and then freeze it in ice cube trays to have it handy for adding to many different dishes. Later this week I’ll have a Coconut Chili Sauce that is good served over vegetables, or over my Soy and Nut Burgers that I’ll be sharing later this week as well.



  • 12 red chilies, divided
  • 1 head garlic, separate the cloves but don’t peel
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 1 cup chopped oyster mushrooms (or shiitake if you can’t find oyster)
  • 1/4 cup raw coconut crystals
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp tamarind paste (optional but good)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice 10 of the chilies in half and place face down on a baking sheet along with the garlic cloves and quartered onion.
  3. Bake about 30 minutes or until the chilies are starting to brown.  Remove from the oven and set aside until the chilies are cool enough to handle.
  4. Remove the stems from the chilies and place into a food processor along with the onions. Squeeze the garlic from the peel and place in the food processor with the chilies and onions (for a milder version remove the seeds and membranes from the inside of the chilies).
  5. Remove the stems from the remaining 2 chilies and place in the blender with the other ingredients (again, remove the seeds and membranes for a milder paste).
  6. Add the mushrooms and process the mixture until smooth.
  7. Transfer to a sauce pan and add the coconut crystals, rice vinegar, tamarind paste, water and salt to taste.
  8. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat if the paste starts to boil and just maintain a gentle simmer for 15 minutes or so until nice and thick.
  9. Cool before storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or freeze in ice cube trays. Once frozen pop out into a zip top freezer bag and store in the freezer indefinitely.

Nutritional Info:

Makes about 1 cup.

Serving size 1 tbsp.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 32, Cal. from Fat: 2, Total Fat: 0g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Carbs: 7g, Fiber: 1g, Sugars: 4g, Protein: 1g, Sodium: 67mg, Chol: 0mg

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