Healthy Food

Mineral Rich Urban Savory Shrimp Paste Rice


There is no actual record of who created this savoury shrimp paste rice dish, but historians agree that it has been popular for a very long time. Thai royals through the ages love to grill catfish to top the dish off.

Shrimp Paste Rice is lauded as one of urban Thailand’s best dishes due to its blend of ingredients and intense yet balanced flavors. Shrimp paste has been an important season in Siamese households since way back in the distant past, the reign of King Ramkhamhaeng, in fact. When the Sukhothai empire spread southwards in a bid to expand its territory, it discovered the paste in Pattani and brought it back to the north.

There was further evidence of the use of shrimp paste during the reign of King Narai the Great and a Persian ambassador left feeling unimpressed, stating that the paste smelt so bad that it didn’t deserve a place in any great dish.

21 years later, however, a French ambassador visited Thailand and remarked that the shrimp paste could be found everywhere and that he couldn’t really understand its widespread popularity.

Shrimp paste rice was mentioned for the first time during the reign of King Rama V, during his second visit to Europe in 1907. It was recorded that King Rama V dreamed of Krom Phraya Suda Rattana Rajaprayoon, his grandmother who cooked delicious rice with shrimp paste for him. When he woke up, he ordered for shrimp paste and various seasonings to be prepared and cooked the dish for himself.

Health Benefits

‘Mineral Rich Urban Savory Shrimp Paste Rice’ is a perfect blend of aromatic shrimp paste and fluffy rice and usually comes with a plethora of side dishes including vegetables and meats. In one dish, it has all the nutritional value of all 5 groups, including protein from meat, eggs, and various side vegetables that provide both vitamins and nutrients. The shrimp paste is also high in calcium other than adding aroma and salty taste to the dish.

  • ‘Shrimp paste’ is high in calcium, helps nourish bones and teeth, and prevents anemia because it contains vitamin B12.
  • ‘Mango’ contains vitamin C, an antioxidant*.
  • ‘Shallot’ helps prevent allergies, is an anti-inflammatory and fights off bacteria and viruses.**
  • ‘Bird’s eye chili’ helps soothe cold symptoms, runny nose, and phlegm.***
  • ‘Garlic’ enhances the innate and adaptive immunity.****
  • ‘Pepper’: has anti-inflammatory effects and is an antioxidant.*****
  • ‘Yard long beans’ can control the sugar level not to be too high. It is low in calories and sugar thus being excellent in helping reduce the risk of diabetes.


  • steamed rice 150 gr
  • shrimp paste 30 gr
  • pork 100 gr
  • dried shrimp 10 gr
  • green mango 10 gr
  • shallot 5 gr
  • yardlong bean 5 gr
  • bird’s eye chili
  • Egg 1
  • palm sugar 5 gr
  • coriander root 2 pcs
  • chopped garlic 15 gr
  • white pepper 1 gr


Grill the shrimp paste until it gives off an aromatic smell.

Mix the grilled shrimp paste thoroughly with the rice.

Slice the remaining ingredients into very thin slivers.

Serve the rice with accompanying condiments and side dishes.

* “Mango”. Fruits of Warm Climates. NewCROP, New Crop Resource Online Program, Center for New Crops & Plant Products, Purdue University. pp. 221–239. ISBN 0-9610184-1-0.
** Russo M, Spagnuolo C, Tedesco, The flavonoid quercetin in disease prevention and therapy: facts and fancies. Biochem Pharmacol. 2012;83(1):6-15.
*** Vonne D., Ofelia G., Guillermo O., José P., & Tzayhrí G. (2014). Determination of Capsaicin, Ascorbic Acid, Total Phenolic Compounds and Antioxidant Activity of Capsicum annuum L. var. serrano by Mid Infrared Spectroscopy (Mid-FTIR) and Chemometric Analysis. Journal of the Korean Society for Applied Biological Chemistry, 57(1): 133-142.
**** Moutia M, et al. Review Article In Vitro and In Vivo Immunomodulatory Activities of Allium sativum L. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2018; Article ID 4984659.
***** Tasleem F, Azhar I, Ali SN, Perveen S, Mahmood ZA. Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of Piper nigrum L. Asian Pacific journal of tropical medicine. 2014;7(Suppl 1):S461-S468.