- Cut and soak the dried chillies.
- Slice shallots, 1 stalk of cilantro roots, galangal and lemongrass into small pieces.
- Slice thinly or grate the kaffir lime zest.
- Use a mortar and pestle to grind until the paste is fine or with smaller fibres.
- Add garlic, kaffir lime zest and cilantro roots (or stems).
- Add 1 tbsp salt. Salt also helps to grind and break up chillies into smaller pieces.
- Add shallots. Once shallots are added, the juice in shallots makes it slippery to grind other ingredients effectively.
- Pound until the mixture turns into a fine paste then, add shrimp paste and continue pounding to mix in the paste.