Heat a nonstick pan to medium low heat. Add the coconut and cook, stirring constantly, until browned (not burnt) and fragrant. 5-8 mins. Remove 3 tablespoons worth of the toasted coconut and pound with a pestle and mortar. Set aside the rest.
Heat the same pan to medium. Add the galangal and ginger and cook, stirring continuously, until the colour begins to shift to a slightly darker shade and there is less sizzling. Add the lemongrass and shallot. Continue stirring to ensure even toasting. You’ll know it’s done when the the galangal, lemongrass, and ginger are mostly dried out. There might still be a little moisture left but that’s ok.
Tip the contents of the pan, as well as the salt, into the mortar with the already pounded coconut. Pound with a pestle until you have a completely smooth paste. Finally, add the vegan shrimp paste (or miso) last and pound into a smooth amalgamation.
Heat the palm sugar, water, and soy sauce together in a saucepan to medium high. Once the mixture begins to bubble, add the paste from the mortar and stir through to blend. Turn the heat down to around medium and simmer for about 2 minutes until the mixture cooks down a bit and has a slightly thick syrupy consistency. Turn the heat off, stir through the tamarind and ground peanuts, and set aside to cool to room temperature.