Continuing my occasional post inspired by one of my shopping lists - this one features in Volume One of a series of mini zines I will be making to record my finds, you can find it here
This list is rather extravagantly written on one very small corner of a very large, brand new A4 manila envelope which still has the price written in the corner. This implies to me that it was written in a hurry on the first piece of paper to come to hand, but the super neat and organized, bullet-marked list belies this!
The ingredients here can only be for some sort of South East Asian curry, the galangal is a dead give away as I've only ever seen it used in Thai cooking (it's a relative of root ginger, it has a different texture, being a bit more like Chinese water chestnuts, the skin is more pale with pinkish markings and less tough than ginger, it looks a bit like a very knobbly Jerusalem artichoke. The taste is decidedly more citrussy and ginger can be used as a substitute as galangal can be tricky to find)
I've done a little research and created a recipe of my own based on some I've found on-line and in my collection of cookery books. It can be made with the ingredients from my list as well as the normal Asian store cupboard ingredients I would expect any cook to have.
Thai Pork Wraps
2 tablespoons of cooking oil
6-8 fat cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 shallots, finely minced
5 inches of fresh galangal
2 whole small red chilli, thinly sliced - leave the seeds in if you like it hot
500g of lean pork mince
1 large carrot, shredded (you can use a mandolin or vegetable peeler if you knife skills are not up to it!)
2 tablespoons of Thai fish sauce
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 lime - juiced
Handful bean sprouts
Handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
Handful of peanuts, roughly chopped
3 spring onions, finely sliced on the diagonal
Separate the Chinese leaves, keep them whole, wash them and set aside on a towel to dry.
In a large frying pan or wok on a medium heat, add the oil, garlic, shallots, chilli and galangal and lightly fry for a minute, don't let them colour too much. Turn the heat up to a high temperature and add the pork mince and stir well, keeping the meat constantly moving and mixing it well with the other ingredients so that it cooks dry and doesn't steam which will happen if your overcrowd the pan. It is best to do this in two batches if you only have a small pan/wok.
One the mince has cooked, add the finely shredded carrots and toss for a moment or two so that they wilt a little. Add the fish and soy sauces and mix well. Add the lime juice (no pips please) and stir once more and remove from heat. Arrange in a serving dish and add the chopped coriander, peanuts and bean sprouts. To finish, sprinkle over the sliced spring onions.
Spoon the minced pork into the Chinese leaves and fold over to make a parcel, eat and enjoy.
(Ingredients on the list not used in recipe - beef and mixed veg)