A gritty, fibrous shrimp paste

A gritty, fibrous shrimp paste

Green Pickled Peaches
Enough condiment for 10 servings
Chris Chen

Taking things to the other extreme, this recipe uses the cutting action of a food processor to create a rough paste from the most fibrous of the traditional spice paste ingredients. The paste is then cooked in such a way that it’s intentionally crunchy and dry and gritty.


Quantity Ingredient
150g dried shrimp, soaked in water for 1 hour, drained
100g red asian shallots, chopped
75g large red chillies, deseeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2cm piece of galangal, sliced
2 lemongrass stems, sliced
75ml peanut oil
1/4 mature coconut, flesh coarsely grated
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted and ground
5 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced
lime juice, to taste
sugar, to taste
prawns, to serve, if you like


  1. Shred the shrimp in a food processor and then set aside. Make the spice paste by processing the shallots, chillies, garlic, galangal, lemongrass and oil in the food processor until blended to a paste. In a dry frying pan sauté the paste over medium heat until aromatic. Add the coconut, coriander seeds and shredded shrimp and keep frying over low heat until the mixture is dry and crumbly. Ensure that all moisture has evaporated: the aim is to make the mixture crispy. Sprinkle in the lime leaves. Season to taste with lime juice, sugar, salt and white pepper. The paste can be kept in a sterilised jar for a couple of weeks.
  2. I’d suggest serving this with prawns. Peel large prawns, keeping the heads and tails intact. Take out the intestinal tracts with a toothpick. Brush with coconut or peanut oil and grill over very high heat. The aim is to get some crunchy parts to the prawn meat. Sprinkle generously with the shrimp spice paste and serve with additional lime juice.
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