Spicy Lemon Coconut Sauce Recipe

A spicy lemon coconut sauce that is good on just about everything - noodles, frittatas, soups. Keep a jar in the refrigerator, and you can use it to make things a little special throughout the week.

Spicy Lemon Coconut Sauce

This sauce looks bland from here. I know. All that white. But its totally not. I've had a jar of it in the refrigerator for the past week, and it's one of those things that makes just about everything you put it on (or in) better. I go about making it in a mortar and pestle, but have done it in a food processor or blender in the past when I'm short on time. We're talking about garlic and green chiles worked into a paste, then bulked out with lots of scallions and cilantro. Coconut milk is the base, and the creaminess is balanced out with a good amount of fresh lemon juice.

Parmesan Spread RecipeParmesan Spread Recipe

Here's my list of how I've used it - this recipe makes a couple of cups, and it is quite rich, so a jar goes quite a distance. 1. Swirled into a simple pureed asparagus soup. 2. Small dollops on top of a frittata. 3. Whisked into scrambled eggs. 4. Inside a version of these spring rolls. 5. Thinned out with a bit of broth in a saucepan, I then sautéed a couple handfuls of broccoli in it, added tiny pieces of tofu, a couple big spoonfuls of cooked quinoa, and some toasted almonds. Dinner.

There's still half a jar left and thinned out, it makes a really nice base broth for any number of soups. So, next up, I think I'll use it instead of a more traditional curry broth, in a big pot with lots of fresh vegetables, maybe some noodles....

Parmesan Spread RecipeParmesan Spread Recipe

Use full-fat coconut milk here, it gives the sauce better consistency and mouth feel. You can thin it out to your liking from there depending on how you're going to use it. Like I said, it's rich, but a little goes a long way. :)

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Spicy Lemon Coconut Sauce

1 clove garlic, peeled
1 medium jalapeno (or serrano) chile, deseeded and chopped
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, plus more to taste
1 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 small bunch of scallions, thinly sliced (~8 scallions)
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 14-ounce can of coconut milk (full fat)
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste

In a mortar and pestle, smash the garlic and chile into a paste along with the salt. Alternately, you can use a food processor or blender. Add the oil and the scallions, and smash or chop a bit more. Add the cilantro, pulsing the food processor / blender (if you're using it) just a few times.

Transfer the mixture to a jar or bowl, and whisk in the coconut milk, then the lemon juice. Taste, and adjust with more salt or lemon juice if needed. Store in a refrigerator for up to a week.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

Prep time: 5 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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I could put this on pretty much anything! Yum!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

I have only recently used coconut milk in my cooking - it's delightful and this sauce sounds wonderful.

Tracy A.

I love all the uses for this sauce. It sounds (and looks, in my opinion) incredible.

Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama}

I love all the uses for this sauce. It sounds (and looks, in my opinion) incredible.

Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama}

It sounds lovely, and honestly, not bland-looking to me - those bits of green definitely have the promise of good flavours!

leaf (the indolent cook)

I have been looking for a beautiful mortar and pestle. Yours is great. I would love to know where it came from if you don't mind sharing. Thanks!

HS: I've had this one so long I can't remember exactly where I bought it - Williams Sonoma usually has them, I think!


Oh I love the different ways you use this- I'm sure it adds such a great flavor!

Simply Life

Whoo hoo! A recipe that I can make here in Cambodia, where many ingredients are either hard to come by or kind of expensive! I cannot wait to make this.


I love coconut milk for making sauces but it is so fatty, shame. And I always use olive oil, of course I am spanish.


What a lovely idea for a sauce. I love the mix of coconut and citrus. Great list of ways to use it too. Lots of inspiration :)


Oh I am so defintiely going to make this sauce! Sounds divine....and I think I'll try it first with some home made pork burgers. By the way Heidi, how long will the sauce keep for?

HS: I try to finish mine up over 5-6 days.


Lucky that I have room in my heart for two spicy lemony sauces, because I can't stop making the harissa sauce from your SNED broccoli salad. And now I have to try this too!

HS: That harissa sauce is hard to take a break from.


sounds like a great Spring sauce! thank you!


I'm gonna use this as a vegan substitute for tzatziki...sounds amazing!

Mike @TheIronYou

Wow! This looks delicious! I'm sure the lemon compliments it very well!


Anything that involves coconut and citrus immediately grabs my attention. I'd love to use this sauce in a pita, to drizzel over a fritter or even put on a burger. Looks great and I bet it's soothing, zesty and creamy. Hope you have a great weekend!

Julia {The Roasted Root}

Oh wow, this looks awesome! I love things like this - they take a simple dish to another level.


sunflower oil, coconut milk, lemon, oh this sounds delicious! I've been re-reading your cookbook lately. And I had put it down for about 6 mos so some of the recipes are "new to me" all over again :) love that.

Averie @ Averie Cooks

Delicious - I love this way of cooking where you have a big batch of something delicious in the fridge to shape the week's meals. Bet this would be great with lime too. Maybe over sautéed squash as a complement to the sweetness from the squash? p.s just heading home after a week in San Francisco - I can see why all the amazing citrus fruit here is such an inspiration in your kitchen Heidi!

HS: Hope you enjoyed your visit Sophie.


Looks like it can with so many dishes!!

Belinda @zomppa

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