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Thai Chile Relish

This fresh green chile relish isn't supremely spicy, but it has fantastic depth of flavor, making it a perfect complement to plain grilled chicken, fish and meats. If you do want more heat, simply pound in a few grilled serrano chiles.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: makes 2 cups

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  • 5 garlic cloves, unpeeled

  • 6 Anaheim chiles

  • 4 medium shallots, unpeeled

  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

  • 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce

  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice


  1. Light a grill and thread the garlic on a skewer. Grill the garlic, chiles and shallots over moderately high heat, turning often, until charred and tender, 8 to 10 minutes for the garlic and chiles and 20 minutes for the shallots.
  2. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl and let cool. Peel the garlic and shallots and transfer to a mortar or a food processor. Peel, seed and core the chiles (or leave in some seeds for extra heat). Add the chiles to the mortar or processor and pound or pulse to a coarse puree. Stir or pulse in the cilantro, fish sauce, sugar and lime juice and serve.

Make Ahead

The relish can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Photo © Seth Smoot Published August 2012

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