Ginger Cilantro Sauce

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I created this sauce as the herbier sister to the ginger sauce, a must-have companion in eating Hainanese chicken. View it as a pesto or chimichurri but with an Asian twist. It is versatile and pairs well with roasted chicken, grilled beef and steamed fish. What a great way to use up leftover herbs!

Ingredients:

  • A handful of cilantro (use the amount that it is sold in)
  • 10 scallions (use both white and green parts)
  • Thumbs of peeled ginger
  • 2-3 gloves of garlic
  • 1 Tbsp of fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp of Japanese “tsuyu”, a seasoning soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp of sesame oil
  • 1 tsp of brown sugar

Steps:

  1. Remove roots from the cilantro and scallions.
  2. Rough chop cilantro, scallions, ginger and place all ingredients into food processor. Pulse 10-12 times to finely chop the herbs. Do not create a paste.
  3. Transfer herbs into a glass bowl.
  4. Heat one cup of canola oil in pot till smoking.
  5. Add fish sauce, Japanese tsuyu, sesame oil, brown sugar to the herbs.
  6. Slowly pour the searing hot canola oil over the herbs. Mix as you pour. The mixture must sizzle as the hot oil hits the herbs.

Cook’s Notes:

To develop the key flavor in this sauce it is important to sear the herbs with the hot oil. It also helps tone down the sharpness of the ginger. Do not use olive oil due to its low smoking point. “Tsuyu” is a Japanese seasoning soy sauce and often used diluted to form a soup base for udon, soba or soy noodles. If neither fish sauce nor soy sauce is available just use salt and it will taste delicious too. Play around with the herbs to develop your favorite ratio or add jalapeno for spice.

 


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