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Thai, Vietnamese
Peppercorn-Coriander Root Flavor Paste Recipe-9060

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 0


Here the essential flavors of the Thai repertoire all come together: black pepper (prik thai), coriander roots, and garlic, salted with a little Thai fish sauce. Use this paste as a marinade for fish, grilled chicken (see  Grilled Chicken with Hot and Sweet Dipping Sauce), or pork.Because the paste is so versatile, it’s handy to have a stash of coriander roots in the freezer. Whenever you have a bunch of coriander, after you have used the leaves, chop off the roots, wash, and store them in a plastic bag in the freezer. You don’t need to defrost them before using, as they can be chopped and pounded still frozen.

Yield: Makes 2 to 3 tablespoons paste


  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 5 to 6 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped coriander roots
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon Thai fish sauce


Place the peppercorns in a mortar with the garlic and pound to a paste.

Add the coriander roots and salt and pound to a paste. This will take 5 to 10 minutes; if you have a small blender or other food grinder that can produce a smooth paste, use it instead.

Stir in the fish sauce.

Store in a well-sealed glass jar; this keeps for 4 days.


This recipe makes a small quantity of flavor paste, just over 2 tablespoons; double the quantities if you’d like to make more.

© 2000 Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Dugid

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information is based on the entire recipe.

80kcal (4%)
155mg (15%)
9mg (15%)
1mcg RAE (0%)
0mg (0%)
759mg (32%)
0g (1%)
3g (4%)
4mg (22%)

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