Asian Pesto

I first developed this spicy pesto recipe out of desperation with an abundance of end-of-the-season Thai basil (it freezes wonderfully). Now it's one of our summer staples … especially now that Noemi loves being in on the action. Get creative with this flavorful pesto recipe. Rub it on chicken and fish, mix it into rice noodles, stir-fry some tofu and spicy greens. If you don't have a mortar and pestle–or don't want to use yours–just whip it up in a food processor; drizzle in extra lime juice and a bit of water if you need liquid to process.

3 cloves garlic
3 dried Thai chiles
Sea salt, to taste
1/3 cup peanuts
1 tablespoon sugar
2 packed cups Asian basil leaves
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

In a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic and chiles to a paste with a tiny pinch of salt. Then add peanuts and sugar, and pound to incorporate. Handful by handful, add the basil and pulverize completely in between additions. Stir in fish sauce, peanut oil and lime juice.

Serves 8

Prep Time: 15 minutes

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Hey there ... I'm Lia Huber

Hey there ... I'm Lia Huber

My mission is to inspire and equip you to live a richer life through real food by becoming a more competent, confident home cook.


I’m the author of Nourished: A Memoir of Food, Faith, and Enduring Love, founder and CEO of Nourish Evolution, and the creator of Cook the Seasons, Home Cooking School, and the Real Food Reset, and I empower intentional women to cook in a way that brings them (and their families) joy, health, and ease.

Making the shift from processed food to real food doesn’t happen overnight. It’s an evolution that occurs over time, with effort, intention, and belief. And it will change the course of your life. Are you ready to take the first step? I’m so glad you’re here … and I’m honored to be with you on the journey to becoming nourished!

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