Liver skewers are a natural partner with pork skewers, chicken giblet skewers and chicken skin skewers. They can all be marinaded with the same mix.

  • 1 ½ teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro roots (subst. stems)
  • 6 Thai garlic cloves or equivalent qty
  • 1 pinch (generous)  of asafoetida
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½  teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 450 gm (1 lb) chicken livers, trimmed
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
  1. In a mortar, coarsely crush the peppercorns. Add the cilantro roots, garlic clove, asafoetida, sugar, salt and pound to a paste. Transfer the paste into a large porcelain, glass or copper bowl. Stir in the fish sauce and soy sauce . Add the chicken livers and coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes minimum.
  2. Thread the chicken livers onto pre-soaked bamboo or whatever skewers, leaving a bit of space between them.
  3. Grill the livers over moderate heat (preferably charcoal grilled with a few smoky leaves to enhance flavour), turning once, until cooked externally and still slightly pink inside, about 4 minutes.
  4. Stack on a serving plate. The quicker they're served the more delectable but then again cooled livers cooked this way are hard to beat also particularly spread on toast..

Cilantro root has the same flavour as the familiar leaves but more concentrated. The stem juice somewhere in between. The coriander aroma is quite volatile and can get lost with marinades made from the chopped leaves. Coriander root paste is ideal for marinading as it's a small volume that liquefies when homogenised and its very concentrated. I tend to use the roots now for all but garnish.