Authentic Thai Recipe for
Tamarind Paste

Authentic Thai Recipe for
Tamarind Paste

มะขามเปียก (Makaam Piak)

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First published on October 23, 2016
Recipe by W. Tipsuwan

Authentic Thai recipe for Tamarind Paste
Yield: 1/2 cup
Prep time: 10 minutes
Ready in: 10 Minutes

Ingredient List:

About my Makaam Piak:

About my Makaam Piak:

It almost seems silly to post a recipe for Tamarind Paste since it's just dried tamarind fruit and water, but many people have asked me about it, so here it is. In Thailand it's called Makaam Piak (มะขามเปียก), and it's one of our most important ingredients. We use it in many different types of foods to add a clean and even sour flavor that is not bitter. Some of your favorite Thai dishes would not be the same without that Tamarind flavor. We have no idea why, but foreigners often refer to Tamarind Paste as Tamarind Water or Tamarind Juice, and you'll even see it labeled that way on packaged paste products. Tamarind Paste is a soft, thick, and creamy paste made by reconstituting dried tamarind fruit. Once fully dried, tamarind can be kept in a tightly sealed container in your kitchen pantry for a long, long time. If you do a lot of Thai cooking, we highly recommend that you take some home the next time you see it, and keep it on hand so you can make a little fresh paste as you need it. It beats the flavor of those bottled pastes, is completely natural, and is without the preservatives.

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Step by Step Directions:

Step by Step Directions:

How to Make Makaam Piak

How to Make Makaam Piak

Step 1

Tamarind fruit has a hard leathery shell on the outside. If yours does, you'll need to remove it so you're down to just the fruit pulp with seeds. You'll often find it with everything removed so you just have the clean fruit with a texture like raisins or dates. However you find it, you'll need to use the following method to create your paste.

Photo of How to Make Tamarind Paste - Step 1

Step 2

Spread the fruit out as much as you can. Place it in a medium-sized bowl so you have a lot of room. Add just enough water to cover it up. Let it soak without touching for about 5 minutes.

Photo of How to Make Tamarind Paste - Step 2

Step 3

Pour out the water, then use your fingers to pinch and squeeze the wet fruit until it softens and starts turning into a mush. As they loosen up, remove any fibers or seeds that you find.

Photo of How to Make Tamarind Paste - Step 3

Step 4

Put the fruit in a fine strainer. Push it through the strainer with your fingers, a spoon, or a spatula.

Photo of How to Make Tamarind Paste - Step 4

Step 5

Scrape the paste that comes through onto a plate. If you still have some hard pieces in the strainer, you can soak it some more and try again, or just discard it if you have enough paste already.

Photo of How to Make Tamarind Paste - Step 5

Step 6

Discard the seeds, fibers, and shells.

Photo of How to Make Tamarind Paste - Step 6

Step 7

If you made extra or are preparing the paste for later use, store it in a tight container in your refrigerator. It will keep for a couple of weeks. It can be frozen but must be used right away once thawed.

Photo of How to Make Tamarind Paste - Step 7
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