Lemongrass & cashew (kinda) pesto


I’ve made many an Asian style ‘pesto’ before with coriander, but I reckon this one beats all others hands-down. I use the term ‘pesto’ very loosely – I’m describing a thick salsa/sauce made with fresh herbs, citrus juice, nuts and olive oil. In this instance I’ve used coriander as my herb, cashews and my nut and lime juice as my citrus. I think the rule with an Asian-style ‘pesto’ is to ensure you don’t skip out on any of the lovely flavours that give this cuisine its zing – spring onion, garlic, lemongrass and chilli in this case. Oof, the powerful flavour will knock you sideways – in a good way. Oh, that lemongrass!

I served this sauce tonight with fried tofu marinaded with ginger, soy sauce, coriander & peanut butter among other things, plus some simple steamed veg. Fried tofu is a very worthy partner for this sauce. I purposely have made this sauce quite thick as I didn’t want to use too much oil (bikini diet!). If you prefer to stir it through some noodles I’d suggest loosening with extra oil and/or a little water, but if you’d rather it as a chunky dip/salsa then this will be perfect for you.


You will need:

Handful fresh coriander
3 spring onions, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1 red chilli, de seeded and chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
30g cashews, toasted in a dry frying pan and ground in a mortar and pestle
1 lemongrass stalk, outer woody stalks removed and very finely chopped
4 tbspns olive oil (plus more, if desired)
Salt, to taste


Just blend all the ingredients into a paste. Add salt to taste and extra oil or a little water to loosen if preferred.


13 thoughts on “Lemongrass & cashew (kinda) pesto

  1. This sounds delicious! I’m not very confident with Asian flavours so I love seeing how you’ve taken the pesto ‘concept’ and given it an Asian twist. I can imagine using it with prawns also, maybe with some fresh egg noodles and more fresh chilli (and toasted peanuts? Hm). Good luck with the continued bikini diet, it’ll all be worth it on holidays! xxx
    P.S does Scott like tofu? Aaron’s not big on it, I think he’d complain if I gave him a whole tofu meal ;)

    1. Nice work Laura. Prawns indeed! I generally despise tofu, with the exception of soft or silken tofu. That shit is damn tasty. Coated in flour and the deep fried so it’s crispy on the outside with a soft interior… ooh yeah

    2. Yes with prawns would be delicious. And fish and meat and noodles and all things :-)
      Yes scott likes tofu. He likes all things. He pretty much eats everything ever as long as it stays still long enough. He is very good to cook for! X

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