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Author Notes: SPECIAL EQUIPMENT:
*A digital kitchen scale
• A charcoal grill (highly recommended), grates oiled
• 1 or 2 wood skewers (but only if you’re grilling), soaked in tepid water for 30 minutes
• A Thai granite mortar and pestle —JJ Goode
Makes about 1 cup
- 3/4 ounce fresh green Thai (about 14) or serrano (about 3) chiles
- 1/4 ounce cilantro roots, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 ounce peeled garlic cloves, halved lengthwise
- 6 tablespoons lime juice (preferably from Key limes or spiked with a small squeeze of Meyer lemon juice)
- 1/4 cup Thai fish sauce
- 5 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro (thin stems and leaves), lightly packed
- Cook the chiles, turning them over once or twice, until both sides are completely blistered and almost completely blackened and the flesh is completely cooked, 8 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of the chiles. Remove the chiles from the skewers and use your fingers or a small knife to peel them. You don’t have to remove every last bit of skin. In fact, you want to see bits of char in the finished sauce.
- Combine the cilantro roots and salt in a granite mortar and pound to a fairly smooth, slightly fibrous paste, about 30 seconds. Pound in the garlic until it’s fully incorporated, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chiles and pound them until you have a fairly smooth paste (the seeds will still be visible), about 1 minute more. Scrape the paste into a bowl or other container, then add the lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar, and stir well.
- Let the sauce sit for an hour or two before you serve it. It’ll taste even better after it does. Right before you serve it, stir in the cilantro.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!
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