• Yield: Makes 1 cup

Hot Chili Condiment

Kua Txob Ntsw

Hmong people simply call this dish pepper. It accompanies almost every meal, and it is never made exactly the same way twice. The basic recipe below can be served with any meal. Good chilies to use are the small red and green Thai ones. Hmong people like this condiment very hot, so the seeds are usually included.


  • 6 to 10 small hot chili peppers, chopped (more or less, depending upon desired heat)

  • 4 green onions, white and green parts, chopped

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon MSG (or 2 teaspoons salt)

  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce

  • Juice of 1 large lime 

Optional Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar

  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 2 to 3 Thai eggplants, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons minced lemongrass


For a fine relish, chop or pound the herbs and vegetables. Add the seasonings and stir well. Or, to get the maximum flavor from the ingredients, use a mortar and pestle to pound everything together. If you are chopping a lot of chilies, or if your skin is sensitive, wear disposable gloves to keep the chilies from burning your skin.

[Related: Read their interview with Lynne, and check out their recipes for Chicken Larb and Everyday Rice.]

From Cooking From the Heart: the Hmong Kitchen in America by Sami Scripter, Sheng Yang Copyright © 2009 University Of Minnesota Press.

Sheng Yang is the co-author of Cooking from the Heart: The Hmong Kitchen in America.
Sami Scripter is the co-author of Cooking from the Heart: The Hmong Kitchen in America.