Thai Chile Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Note: Ideally this sauce is made in a mortar and pestle, but if you don’t have one, you can finely chop everything together. Fish sauce and oyster sauce are available in the Asian section of supermarkets. Yia Vang uses Hmong cilantro and its stems; if only traditional cilantro is available, use its leaves. From Yia Vang.

• 2 c. (1 pint) cherry tomatoes

• Canola oil

• Kosher salt

• 3 to 4 garlic cloves

• 2 to 3 Thai chiles (more if you like spicier food, less if you prefer mild)

• 1/4 c. finely chopped fresh cilantro (see Note)

• 1 tbsp. fish sauce (see Note)

• 1 tsp. oyster sauce (see Note)

• Juice of 1 lime


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place cherry tomatoes on a sheet tray, and sprinkle with oil and a little salt. Roast in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until the tomatoes start to burst open. Remove and let them cool.

In a mortar, combine the garlic, a little salt, Thai chiles and cilantro, and smash until the mixture becomes a coarse paste.

Add the fish sauce, oyster sauce and lime juice and mix with the pestle.

Add the roasted tomatoes and use the pestle to crush them and mix all ingredients together. The sauce should be a little chunky, but mostly runny. Taste and add more salt if needed.