Flavor of the Month

Spicy Cilantro Sauce

This recipe is why I love blogging and the Flavor of the Month challenges.Over the last week, I searched and searched for a flavorful cilantro sauce that I could stand behind and promote. They were all too simple and lacked versatility. Then, I stumbled upon epicurious.com, and found a recipe from 1998, and it had amazing reviews. With ingredients like, soy sauce, ginger, shallots, garlic, and lemon, I had to try it out.

This sauce is absolutely delicious! It’s spicy from the red pepper flakes and ginger, and sweet from the sauteed garlic and shallots, and acidic from lemon, and salty from the soy and especially fresh from the herbs. It is a winner and hits all the right notes! It is definitely a game changer for me in the kitchen because this sauce has so many uses. The recipe says to pair it with halibut with roasted vegetables, and that sounds really tasty. But I wanted to see how versatile this sauce could be, so I devised a handful of recipes that used this sauce in different ways.




1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup packed fresh flat-leafed parsley leaves
2 shallots
1 large garlic clove
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh gingerroot
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Have ready a bowl of ice water. In a small saucepan of boiling water blanch cilantro and parsley 10 seconds and drain in a sieve. Refresh herbs in ice water and drain in sieve. Chop shallots and garlic.
In a small nonstick skillet cook shallots, garlic, gingerroot, cumin, and red pepper flakes in 1 tablespoon water and oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until shallots are softened. In a blender purée shallot mixture, herbs, remaining 1/4 cup water, and soy sauce until smooth, about 1 minute, and season with salt and pepper. Sauce may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring sauce to room temperature before serving.
Just before serving, stir in lemon juice.



  1. Use this sauce over fish, such as trout, halibut, grouper, salmon, and tilapia.
  2. Mix into rice and served with an Asian-inspired meal
  3. Spread onto tacos with crispy pork, chicken or steak
  4. Mix into a noodle broth soup
  5. Mix with some oil and vinegar to make a vinaigrette and toss with Asian greens
  6. Toss with roasted vegetables
  7. Use as a dipping sauce for Panko crusted shrimp
  8. Drizzle over seared scallops
  9. Pour sauce into ice-cub trays, freeze, pop out and store in baggies for later use.


Download the Recipe Here


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