Drunken Chile Paste
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Credit: Su-Mei Yu, chef-owner, Saffron restaurant, San Diego, Calif.
The National Culinary Review, November 2003
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 dried de árbol chiles, softened in hot water, dried, and minced
12 fresh bird chiles, minced
1 stalk lemon grass, green parts and hard outer layers removed, minced
Zest of 1 kaffir lime or Mexican lime
1 1/2-inch slice galangal, minced
1 shallot, minced
Method: Using a mortar and pestle, pound sea salt and garlic into a paste. One by one, add chiles, lemon grass, lime zest, galangal, and shallot in sequence, adding each new ingredient only after the previous one is puréed and incorporated into paste. Set aside or refrigerate. Paste will keep for several weeks.
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