Cilantro, also known as coriander, is a key ingredient in Thai and Southeast Asian cooking, especially the cilantro root.Thai cooks treasure the roots and in Thailand cilantro is always sold with its roots.The root is very aromatic and has lots of flavor when cooked. It’s a precious ingredient—a treat among herbs—and an important ingredient in curry paste, marinades and meat stir-frys. When the root is not available, substitute four stems for one root. Try the recipe featured below for an opportunity to experience the unique flavor and fragrance of cilantro root.
Sautéed Garlic Prawn Recipe
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
These garlic prawns have a peppery accent and are an astonishingly easy-to-prepare crowd pleaser. The first six ingredients in this recipe make a classic spicy Thai marinade paste. You can use it to create many simple dishes by using it as a marinade for chicken or a spicy paste for chicken or pork patties. For best results, grind the marinade paste using a mortar and pestle. Otherwise, use a small food processor.
½-1 tablespoon black peppercorns
¼-½ teaspoon salt
10 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 cilantro roots or 5 cilantro stems
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
32 prawns, peeled and deveined
5 tablespoons cooking oil
Cilantro and lime wedges for garnish
In mortar, place black peppercorns, salt, 5 cloves of garlic and cilantro roots; pound with pestle until it becomes a paste. Stir in light soy sauce and brown sugar to make marinade sauce. Pour the marinade sauce over prawns and mix well. Set aside. In a frying pan, fry remaining garlic until golden yellow; remove and set aside. In the same frying pan, fry prawns until cooked. Place prawns on a serving plate and garnish with fried garlic and cilantro leaves. Serve lime wedges on the side.© 2009 Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen I Love Thai cooking