There's something glorious about the results of a mortar and pestle treatment. Intuitively, you get to decide the degree of impact, whereas there's a fair bit of heat being generated when you use something like, say, a food processor. The shaggy nature of the final sauce makes for a handcrafted look and makes the sauce more fun to eat, as you'll get spiky notes of garlic, ginger, and chile while you're enjoying your chicken. Who could complain about that?
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh red Thai chiles (about 8 small chiles)
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
about 2 tablespoons fresh gingerroot (1-inch piece, peeled, sliced, and finely slivered)
Add the chiles, garlic, ginger, sugar, and salt to a mortar or to your smallest mixing bowl that can withstand some pounding.
Make fists and pound your counter so that the beat can be barely heard. Pianissimo. Okay, you have the feel.
Using a pestle or the blunt, broad end of something like a rolling pin (be creative and look around your kitchen for something that can be used to smash things), gently pound the mixture until it becomes shaggy in appearance, but not uniform.
Transfer to a good-looking dipping bowl.
Add the lime juice, the chicken broth, the green onions, and the black pepper; stir to combine.
Cooking Light Mad Delicious
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