The perfect pairing to a bowl of sticky rice, this savory, garlicky paste gets toasty flavor from roasted eggplant and blackened garlic and peppers. In more traditional versions, you grill ingredients over charcoal for deeper flavor.
Preheat oven to 400°.
Pierce the entire surface of eggplants with a fork, and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 22 minutes or until eggplants are very tender. Cool to room temperature.
Heat a medium cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, peppers, and shallots; cook for 15 minutes or until skins are blackened and shallots are tender, turning vegetables occasionally to blacken evenly. Cool 10 minutes.
Halve eggplants lengthwise; scoop out pulp with a spoon. Discard skins; place eggplant pulp in a food processor. Peel shallots and garlic; discard skins. Add garlic pulp and shallots to eggplants. Stem and seed peppers; add to eggplant mixture. Add juice and fish sauce; pulse 10 times or until finely chopped. Stir in 2 tablespoons cilantro; sprinkle remaining cilantro over dish.