RECIPE: Coriander and Chili Gremolata Sauce/Marinade


Recipe by Chef John Sandbach of Smoke & Spice Maui Catering Company

John Sandbach grew up in Austin, Texas, the heart of barbecue, and graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 2000. His travel has taken him from Los Angeles, where he worked for Wolfgang Puck; to Santiago, Chile, where he served on the staff at The Cosmopolitan; and ten years with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.

“My biggest barbecue influence is Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor, Texas,” says Sandbach. It’s been open since the 1940s, and is always rated among the top five barbecue restaurants in the U.S.A. I started eating there as a child, as my godfather owned a farm outside of Taylor. This was back in the eighties, before barbecue became as popular as it is now. I still go back there whenever I visit Austin.”

John SandbachSandbach moved to Maui in 2004, and now sources the island’s freshest ingredients for from-scratch recipes. Grinding and slow-smoking meats for sausage, blending fresh Maui Gold pineapple slaw dressing, and creating sides like Okinawan sweet-potato salad and baked pinto beans cooked long and slow with brisket trimmings, Sandbach pays homage to both Texas and Maui. He opened Smoke & Spice mobile food/catering trailer on the Valley Isle in 2012, and continues to explore the creative aspects of barbecue with items like mustard-glazed, half-pound pork chops, handmade bacon BLTs, barbecued lau lau, whole-roasted spicy chicken, and beef ribs with coriander and brown-sugar crust.

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Coriander and Chili Gremolata Recipe

Yield: 3 cups


  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1.5 cups olive oil blend (100% extra virgin olive oil makes the sauce bitter)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 head of garlic, or 1 medium-sized garlic clove
  • 3–4 pieces of Chili de árbol (tree chili), or substitute 2 teaspoons chili flakes.
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 3 pieces anchovy, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste, if used as a sauce


Zest and juice the citrus and place the juice in a blender or food processor. Rub the garlic with olive oil, wrap in foil and roast it in the oven at 325° until it is soft (about 20–30 minutes). Cool and remove the roasted garlic cloves. Add garlic, olive oil, white wine, citrus juices and zests to the blender.

While garlic is roasting, toast the coriander, cumin seed and Chili de árbol in a pan until they are fragrant—about two minutes over medium heat. Cool to room temperature and add to blender.

Rough chop the herbs, shallot and anchovy. Add to the blender and pulse a few times, then purée. Serve as a condiment, or use as a marinade, a few tablespoons for each pound of meat.

“If you would like the sauce to be a little chunky, reserve some of the Italian parsley, rough chop it, and add it into the final purée. If I am using this as a marinade, I usually salt the meat and not the purée. If I want it use it as a sauce, I add salt and pepper to taste and a little chopped fresh tomato.”—Chef John Sandbach


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