This basic recipe makes more than enough potent, nutty chile paste for the Duck in Coconut Curry. It's worth preparing this relatively large amount because the paste keeps for a month and it's delicious in coconut milk-based sauces, soups and stews. More Incredible Duck Recipes

Food & Wine
October 1996

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Recipe Summary

Yield:
Makes about 1 cup
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • In a bowl, cover the dried chiles with boiling water and let soak until softened, about 20 minutes. Drain the chiles and coarsely chop them.

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  • Heat the vegetable oil in a small skillet. Add the chopped garlic and sliced shallots and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic and shallots to a plate. Add the peanuts to the skillet, reduce the heat to low and cook, shaking the pan, until toasted and browned, about 3 minutes. Add the peanuts to the plate.

  • In a large mortar or mini-processor, grind the coriander root, lemongrass, galangal and salt to a paste. Work in the halved garlic cloves and chopped shallots. Add the soaked chiles, browned garlic mixture and lime leaves and pound to a coarse puree. Stir in the shrimp paste, cinnamon and cumin.

Make Ahead

The paste can be refrigerated for up to 1 month in a covered jar.

Notes

Coriander root, lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves and shrimp paste are available at Asian markets, well-stocked supermarkets and specialty food stores.

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