(Adapted from Food & Wine)
- 2 jalapeño peppers, seeds and ribs removed
- 4 cloves garlic, minced minced
- 1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves and stems (minced, if you don't have a food processor!), plus 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc mam)
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 6 tablespoons rice-wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 tablespoons water
- Light the grill or heat the broiler.
- In a blender or food processor, puree the jalapeños, 2 garlic cloves, the 1/2 cup cilantro leaves and stems, the fish sauce, cooking oil, sesame oil, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. (Make sure everything is finely chopped and combine by hand if you don't have a food processor!)
- Put the chicken in a shallow dish and coat it with the cilantro puree.
- Grill the chicken over moderately high heat or broil it for 5 minutes. Turn and cook until just done, about 5 minutes longer.
- Meanwhile, in a small stainless-steel saucepan, bring the vinegar, sugar, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt to a simmer, stirring.
- Simmer for 2 minutes.
- Pour the liquid into a small glass or stainless-steel bowl and let cool.
- Add the minced garlic, the 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, the red-pepper flakes, and water.
- Serve each chicken breast with a small bowl of the dipping sauce alongside.