Thai Green Chili Sauce (Nam Jim Talay)

Authentic homemade Thai green chili sauce recipe made with fresh chilies, herbs, and classic South East Asian flavours. Also known as Nam Jim Talay, this spicy sauce is ready in under 10 minutes and can be used as a condiment, marinade, dressing, cooking ingredient, and more.


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Jump to: ℹ️ Overview | 🛒 Ingredients | 📷 How To Make | 💡Variations | 👩‍🍳 Recipe Tips | 🍚 Serving Suggestions | 📝 Full Recipe Card | 🍽 More Thai Recipes


I love Thai food and this green chili sauce, known as Nam Jim Talay, is a staple condiment in Thai cuisine. With its vibrant green colour and balanced sweet, sour, and spicy flavour profile, this sauce adds a delicious herby and spicy kick to any savoury dish.

Chopped garlic, coriander (cilantro) roots, and mint give the sauce aromatic undertones, while a balanced blend of green chili, fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar creates the characteristic sweet, sour, salty and spicy Thai flavours.

This homemade recipe is super easy and only takes 10-15 minutes. It’s super versatile and adds a delicious herby and spicy kick to any savoury dish. Use it as a condiment, marinade, dressing base, cooking ingredient, and more. I love it!

How Spicy Is This Sauce?

The spice level can vary depending on the number and type of chilies used. For medium heat, stick to the recipe as written using 10-15 Thai chilies. Use fewer chilies and remove the seeds if you want a milder heat. For extra spicy, add more chilies or use hotter varieties like serranos.

👩‍🍳 For more Thai recipes, check out my lemongrass tofu in coconut curryThai chicken drumstickscrying tiger beef rice noodle salad, or chicken larb salad.

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What You’ll Need

Here is what you’ll need for Thai green chili sauce recipe. Find the full measurements in the recipe card below.

  • Fresh green Thai chilies: The green Thai chilis are essential for the sauce’s signature colour and spicy heat. Use 10-15 chilies, depending on how spicy you want the sauce. The chilies add a fresh, grassy heat. They are available from the Asian grocery store. Don’t have Thai chilies? Substitute additional Bird’s Eye, jalapeno or serrano peppers. No freshies on hand? Use 3-4 tablespoons of red chili flakes instead (although this will change the colour).
  • Garlic: Chopped garlic cloves add a pungent, aromatic flavour that balances the other ingredients. Use about five cloves, depending on size. More garlic equals more punch.
  • Fresh mint: A cup of fresh mint leaves contributes a cooling, refreshing menthol note that brightens the other flavours.
  • Fresh cilantro/coriander (including the stems): Like the mint, fresh cilantro also lightens the sauce. A cup of cilantro leaves adds herbal flavour. The coriander stems have an intense, citrusy taste. When chopped, they infuse the sauce with aromatic undertones.
  • Lime juice: The lime juice is key for the sour flavour that balances the sweetness and heat. Use freshly squeezed juice from about two limes. Lime juice can be substituted with lemon juice.
  • Fish sauce: A few tablespoons of fish sauce adds a savoury umami depth and saltiness. It’s an essential ingredient for authentic Thai flavour. No fish sauce? Soy sauce is the best substitute or use more lime juice.
  • White sugar: A bit of sugar balances out the sour lime and salty fish sauce. Use 2-3 tablespoons of white sugar or substitute brown sugar or coconut sugar. Rather than sugar, you can use honey for sweetness.
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How To Make Thai Green Chili Sauce

Find the full recipe and nutritional information below. Here are some handy step-by-step photos.

  • In a food processor, combine the Thai green chilies (or jalapeno peppers), chopped cloves of garlic, mint leaves, and cilantro leaves and stems. Pulse 5-10 times until the ingredients are finely chopped but still have texture. If using a mortar and pestle, add the same ingredients and mash or grind until thoroughly combined.
  • Add the remaining ingredients, the lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar.
  • Continue pulsing or mashing just until combined. You want the sauce to have a coarse texture.
  • Transfer the sauce to an airtight container. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour to allow flavours to develop.
  • Store leftover sauce in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
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Variations

  • For a milder version, remove chili seeds before chopping.
  • Use serrano peppers instead of jalapenos for more heat.
  • Add chopped lemongrass stalk for additional citrus flavor.
  • For a creamier texture, add 1-2 tablespoons of coconut milk.
  • Substitute brown sugar or coconut sugar for a deeper, more caramelized sweetness.

Recipe Tips

  • Wear gloves when handling chilies to avoid burning your skin.
  • Use a combination of chilies for the best flavour complexity.
  • Remember to seed and reduce chili quantity if you want a milder sauce.
  • Chop all ingredients finely but leave some texture instead of making a smooth puree.
  • Let the sauce sit for 30 mins to 1 hour for full flavor development after mixing.
  • Store leftover sauce in airtight containers, either refrigerating for a week or freezing for months.
  • Add the sauce at the end of cooking as an ingredient to retain the freshness.
  • Shake or stir the sauce each time before using it to redistribute ingredients evenly.
  • Mix in fresh herbs like mint or cilantro right before serving to liven up the sauce.
thai green chili sauce on a spoon
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Serving Suggestions

This versatile sauce has many great uses beyond dipping:

  • As a marinade or dressing for grilled meats, fish, and shrimp
  • Drizzle over steamed or grilled vegetables
  • Stirred into noodles, fried rice, and other Thai dishes
  • As a flavour boost for soups, curries, and stews
  • Drizzled over eggs, omelets, and breakfast dishes
  • As a spicy spread or sauce for sandwiches and burgers
  • Dolloped onto pizza, flatbreads, and baked savory pastries
  • Mixed into mayo or aioli to make a spicy dipping sauce
  • Added to tuna salad or chicken salad for a flavourful kick

So get creative and add this Thai green chili sauce to all your favorite foods! It takes any dish from boring to bold and delicious.

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thai green chili sauce (Nam Jim Talay)
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Thai Green Chili Sauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Course: Condiment or Sauce
Cuisine: Thai
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Calories: 25kcal
This Thai green chili sauce (also known as Nam Jim Talay) packs a punch of spice and herby goodness from fresh chilies, garlic, cilantro, and mint. A splash of lime and fish sauce balances the heat with sour and salty. From rice to eggs, noodles to stir-fries, this sauce instantly livens up any dish like a flavour bomb! Adjust the chili heat to your personal spice level preference.

Ingredients 

  • 10-15 green chilies stemmed and roughly chopped, number depends on heat level you want
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro chopped , aka coriander
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 1.5 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1.5 tablespoon sugar white

Instructions

Using a food processor

  • In a food processor, combine the chopped chilies, garlic, cilantro and mint. Pulse several times until a coarse paste forms.
  • Add the fish sauce, lime juice and sugar. Process briefly until combined. The texture should still be coarse.
  • Transfer to a bowl or jar. Let sit for 30 mins for flavours to develop.

Using a Mortar and Pestle

  • In a mortar, mash the chilies, garlic, cilantro and mint into a coarse paste using the pestle.
  • Add the fish sauce, lime juice and sugar. Grind well with the pestle until combined and sugar dissolves.
  • Transfer to a bowl or jar. Let sit for 30 mins for flavours to develop.
  • For either method, taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Store leftover sauce refrigerated for up to 1 week. Enjoy with grilled meats, seafood, noodles, rice dishes, and more!

Notes

  • Wear gloves when handling chilies to avoid burning your hands. The chili heat can linger on your skin.
  • For milder heat, remove the chili seeds before chopping. The seeds add more kick. Use a mortar and pestle or small food processor to get the right coarse texture. Avoid a smooth puree.
  • Let the finished sauce sit for 30 mins for the best flavour development.
  • Store leftover sauce in airtight containers and refrigerate up to 1 week or freeze up to 3 months. The bright green colour will fade after a few days, but the flavour remains. Storing in the fridge helps retain the colour longer. Blending in some spinach can also help keep the green coloir.
  • Add the sauce at the end of cooking when using in dishes to retain the fresh flavour.
  • Shake or stir sauce before using each time to disperse ingredients evenly.
  • For spicier sauce, opt for hotter chilies like serranos or bird’s eye chilies.
  • Balance the heat with more sugar and lime juice to taste.

Nutrition

Calories: 25kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 0.3g | Fat: 0.04g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.003g | Sodium: 363mg | Potassium: 34mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 152IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.2mg
Keywords: Green Chili Sauce, Thai Green Chili Sauce
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Irena Macri
By Irena Macri

About the author: Hi, I’m Irena Macri. I share delicious recipes that I have cooked and loved. I am a published cookbook author, have been food blogging for over 10 years and have a Diploma in Nutrition. You will find many healthy recipes as well as my favourite comfort food. More about me here | Subscribe to my newsletter and freebies

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