- 8 Roma tomatoes
- 3 large shallots, unpeeled
- 3 scallions, root ends removed
- 10 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 12 fresh Thai bird eye chili peppers
- 1 pinch MSG (Accent brand is widely available)
- 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
- 2 tsp. light brown sugar (or to taste)
- 1 Tbsp. padaek unfiltered fish sauce (authentic but hard to find) or 1 Tbsp. smashed anchovy fillets (TFD endorses only Ortiz brand)
- 2 Tbsp. Red Boat 40° fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp. dark soy sauce with mushroom flavor
- 1 handful cilantro, minced (preferably including stems and roots)
- Several bamboo skewers for charcoal roasting the vegetables
- Soak bamboo skewers for at least 20 minutes to prevent them from burning on the grill. Put all the vegetables on skewers.
- Roast the vegetables on a charcoal grill or under the broiler if that’s all you’ve got. Flip the vegetables to get them evenly charred. Once charred, set aside to cool.
- Remove the stems from the chilies and peel the garlic and shallots.
- In a mortar, add the garlic, chilies, shallots, MSG, sugar and salt. Smash until you get a smooth paste.
- Add the tomatoes and smash to release the tomato juices. It will be a thick sauce consistency.
- Add the fish sauce, soy sauce, anchovies and sugar and continue to smash until all the ingredients are well-combined.
- Add chopped green onions and cilantro. Serve immediately or keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.