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Southeast Asian Pesto Recipe

This Southeast Asian pesto recipe makes a super easy Asian inspired Italian style pesto that you can combine with pastas and noodles, use as a salad dressing (potato salad is perfect), serve with barbecue meats, or spread onto bruschetta, banh mi and num pang. It can be made in a mortar and pestle or in a food processor if you're in a hurry.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Condiment, Sauce
Cuisine: Asian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 323kcal
Author: Lara Dunston


  • ¼ cup olive oil extra virgin for a greener taste
  • ¼ cup neutral oil we use soybean oil
  • 1 garlic clove peeled and crushed
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves finely chopped
  • 2 fresh lemongrass stalks finely chopped
  • 2 cups Basil leaves Thai or Italian
  • 2 cups coriander leaves fresh
  • cup white sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste


  • Finely chop the kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass stalks to ensure they break down completely when you blend them in the food processor.
  • Wash your basil and coriander and remove the leaves from the stalks at the last minute.
  • Mince the garlic first in the food processor, then stop it and add the fresh basil and coriander leaves, chopped kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass stalks, sesame seeds, oils, and fish sauce.
  • Blend everything until you have a pesto consistency.
  • Use immediately before it discolours or scoop it into a jar, pour a thin layer of oil on top to cover the pesto, then seal and refrigerate until ready for use.
  • With oil on top it should last a week or so refrigerated.


Calories: 323kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 587mg | Potassium: 154mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1173IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 148mg | Iron: 3mg