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.
- 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.
Nutritional information is based on the entire recipe.