Garlic and Coriander (Cilantro) Paste

In my latest In My Kitchen post, I showed an image of a garlic and coriander paste I made to marinate some pork skewers.  A lot of you showed interest in that paste and asked if I would share the recipe.

Garlic and Coriander (Cilantro) Paste

Garlic and Coriander (Cilantro) Paste

The recipe comes from a favourite restaurant of mine, Spirit House.  As the restaurant is about a 15-hour drive away, it’s a logistical challenge to dine there as often as I would like.  However, you can buy the restaurant’s cookbooks and recreate their Thai dishes at home.

Just four ingredients

Just four ingredients

The latest cookbook from Spirit House is Hot Plate – Asian Inspired Barbecue.  I was actually given this cookbook over a year ago and haven’t cooked anything from it because, we didn’t have a barbecue.  This was rectified a few weeks ago when Drew, tired of not being able to cook his dinner over soaring flames, came home with a new barbecue.

Give it a good bash

Give it a good bash

As soon as it was set up I ran to the cookbook I’ve looked at longingly but have been unable to cook anything from, and started sifting through the pages.  So much inspiration!

Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus

Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus

The garlic and coriander paste is one of the most versatile and commonly used pastes in Thai cooking.  It’s perfect in marinades and stir-fries and is very quick and easy to make.  It will keep in the fridge for up to a week in a sealed container.  I’ve used it to give a punch of flavour to this season’s asparagus.

Heading to the barbecue

Heading to the barbecue

The recipe for the chargrilled asparagus adds fish and oyster sauces to the paste to rub over the asparagus spears but I’ve altered the recipe to make it vegan.  Instead of fish-based sauces I’ve substituted soy sauce with great results.

On the barbie

On the barbie

5.0 from 7 reviews
Garlic and Coriander Paste
Recipe type: Sauces and Pastes
Cuisine: Asian
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 tbs
A garlic and coriander paste suitable to use in marinates or rubbed on vegetables before chargrilling.
  • 8 coriander (cilantro) roots, washed and scraped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbs ginger
  • 1 tsp white peppercorns
  • 10mls (1/2 fl oz) vegetable
  1. Pound coriander, garlic, ginger and peppercorns in a mortar and pestle to form a paste. Add oil and mix in with pestle.
A side dish

A side dish

For chargrilled asparagus:  Take 2 bunches of asparagus and snap off the woody ends.  Wash spears well (no one likes grit).  In a bowl, combine 2 tbs of the paste, 1 tbs vegetable oil and 2 tsp soy sauce.  (I’ve tagged this as a GF recipe as I used GF soy sauce).  Rub this mix over the spears.  Preheat your barbecue to medium heat.  Place spears across the bars and gently grill for 2-3 minutes on either side.  Be careful not to overcook!

Chargrilled asparagus

Chargrilled asparagus

Coriander and Garlic Paste

Coriander and Garlic Paste

Related Post


  1. Oooh, I have heard good things about Spirit House! Must go there some day! Lovely asparagus dishes, Charlie xx

  2. I’m reading this before breakfast and I’m already salivating! I can just imagine how good this smells on the BBQ.

  3. We do grill asparagus every spring and summer when it is so plentiful and delicious. This delicious paste would be something quite special! I am eager to give it a try. I can imagine it really adds something special to the char on the asparagus. Now my mouth really is watering! 🙂

  4. i read that and thought does she really mean Yandina? clearly you do:) love the look of this asparagus dish.

  5. What a great way to use up all of the coriander! I still haven’t been to The Spirit House but would love to one day! 😀

  6. My dad lives close to the Spirit House and raves about it. I really should trek up to QLD to check it out – and visit him, of course 😉 Coriander is my fav herb and I would smother this paste on everything in my kitchen.

  7. I love asparagus and this sounds so good. However, it’s the wrong season now for me to find asparagus in Minnesota.

  8. I’m glad you did share the recipe because I was one of those very taken with the idea of this dish! Thank you.

  9. Oh, just my kind of seasoning and know what you mean about missing the barbecue – so looking forward to getting one again:-)

  10. Mmmm…I can almost smell it from here. I bet that was very tasty on the asparagus. I make a salad dressing very similar to this. Cilantro, lime, garlic, olive oil, a pinch of coconut sugar and a little water. Whiz it up. So good! I’m always surprised by people who don’t like cilantro and think it tastes like soap. I could eat it every day!

  11. So glad that you posted this Charlie! I know we’ll be making this one with our grilled asparagus for sure. It sounds delicious. 🙂

  12. I was swooning over the paste too and that asparagus is perfectly cooked. I don’t enjoy it when it’s charred and shriveled and so often that’s how it looks.

  13. Popped in from my ‘October-break’ to say ‘thank you’. I have two huge pots of coriander growing in the garden and annoyingly thumbing their nose at me and going to seed . . . this paste is SO easy to make time will be found over the weekend! Had a quick look at the ‘Spirit House’ page also and shall be back later . . . .

  14. Oooh, thanks for sharing this – I was keen to find out how to make!

  15. The paste alone sounds incredible, but then you go and tempt me by adding it to grilled asparagus! Boy, does that look marvelous!!! Happy weekend, my friend!!! xo

  16. I wonder if this would be good on tofu also! Mmm. Love the flavors.

  17. Brilliant, thanks for sharing the recipe Charlie.
    Have a happy week ahead.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  18. So glad you shared the recipe…I can see myself using it often. One of the first things we did the first week that we moved into our new home in Florida was buy a new grill.

  19. There is nothing more organic than pressing a paste with a mortar and pestle. This looks so very simple and quite delicious. I can see it working with a variety of vegetables, but I’d love to try it with lamb.

  20. Love this Charlie. You really do love that book and no wonder. So many great recipes

  21. Our coriander plant is going gang busters at the moment, and I have an excess of garlic, this is brilliant. Going to whip up a batch of this gorgeous paste and keep a jar in the fridge. It would be a great addition to many a dish too, I bet!

  22. This looks great!! I could eat this paste on toast! 😀

  23. A lovely tasty easy to make pate! Yummm! The uses are endless!

  24. I love coriander and I love garlic, why did I not think about making a garlic coriander paste!
    well done 🙂

  25. Thank you so much for sharing! I love the flavors and especially love that you put it on asparagus.

  26. I can almost smell this paste. I love the way you paired it with asparagus and can just imagine so many ways to use it. Thank you!

Speak Your Mind


Rate this recipe: