Regional Flavours: Dairy-Free Asian Pesto With Fresh Coriander, Lime Zest & Roasted Peanuts

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While we love a great pesto genovese, the Italian basil in Hong Kong is not always the freshest. Same goes for pine nuts…Great cooks make use of what’s local, in season and available. So we got our creative juices flowing and concocted a pesto with an Asian spin- we love repurposing ingredients from one cuisine to another. This pesto is now a must-have condiment chez nous, hope your household loves it as much as we do! If you omit the fish sauce, this recipe is totally dairy-free– perfect for vegans.

Preparing Asian Pesto

This makes 1.5 cups and will keep for two weeks in the fridge.


  • 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled
  • 1 dried chilli, seeds removed (omit if making this for young kids)
  • ½ cup roasted peanuts
  • 1 cup Thai basil leaves
  • 1 cup coriander leaves
  • 1 tbsp each, orange and lime zest
  • ½ tbsp vegan fish sauce like this one or ½ tbs pink Himalayan salt
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • ½ – ¾ cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp water

Asian Pesto


Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until smooth. That’s it. Couldn’t be easier!

Serve it on rice crackers or as an easy lunch with some rice noodles!

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