1 tbsp lemongrass (white parts)
1 bunch fresh coriander (or 1 tbsp powder)
2-3 slices of fresh galangal (or 1 tbsp)
1 tbsp shallots
1 tbsp garlic
10 fresh green peppercorns (1 tbsp)
1 Thai chili
1/2 tbsp kaffir lime zest
1 slice fresh turmeric (1 pinch of powder)
1 tbsp shrimp paste
Pinch of fine table or sea salt
Step 1: Cut up the lemongrass, coriander, and galangal into small pieces, and add to a stone mortar.
Step 2: Then add the shallots, garlic, peppercorn, and Thai chili. You can add them in whole, or roughly cut the shallot/garlic.
Step 3: Add kaffir lime zest, salt, and turmeric. For the kaffir lime zest: slice small parts of the skin off rather than grate it. For the salt: be sure to use finely ground salt, as it is used to help make the paste, not for any flavor.
Step 4: Firmly smash all of the ingredients in an up and down motion. Do not grind, or it will make the paste watery. Continue until it becomes a paste. It doesn’t have to be completely smooth, as long as there are no large pieces of ingredients. It should take roughly 5-10 min.
Step 5: Add shrimp paste. Keep smashing, but a little more gently, so that everything mixes well. You may also use a spoon to scoop & smash.