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Pork on skewers, spicy vegetable dip ... bold Thai appetizers.

Pork on skewers, spicy vegetable dip ... bold Thai appetizers A provocative mix of flavors teases your palate in these appetizers from Thailand. Marinate thin slices of pork in coconut milk, fish sauce, and garlic, then skewer meat and grill; dip in hot, tart sauce to eat. Or make a chili and garlic paste; cook with pork and shrimp to make a mildly hot relish to eat with raw vegetables.

The combination of ingredients emphasizes Southeast Asian flavors. Make the recipes either with the ethnic ingredients found in some supermarkets and Asian grocery stores, or use the readily available alternatives for similar results.

Thai chef Vatcharin Bhumichitr, of London's Chiang Mai restaurant, created the pork skewers. Vorachoon Yuchinda and Narin Chotipanang, of Bangkok's Lemongrass Restaurant, made the red relish to eat with raw vegetables.

Skewered Marinated Pork (Moo Ping)

2 cloves garliv, pressed or minced 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander 2 tablespoons fish sauce (nuoc nam or nam pla) or soy sauce 1 tablespoon light soy sauce 1/2 cup coconut milk (or whipping cream with 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract) 1 tablespoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper 1 pound lean boneless pork such as leg or loin Fresh cilantro (coriander) sprigs Sauce (recipe follows)

Mix garlic, ground coriander, fish sauce, light soy, coconut milk, sugar, and pepper. Cut pork into 1/8-inch-thick strips about 3 inches long and 1-1/2 inches wide. Coat pork with coconut mixture. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours. Meanwhile, soak thin bamboo skewers in water for about 20 minutes.

Weave skewers through meat strips so meat lies flat. Place on a grill 4 to 6 inches above a solid bed of hot coals (you can hold your hand at grill level only 2 to 3 seconds). Cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, 5 to 7 minutes total. Transfer to platter; garnish with cilantro. Offer sauce in a bowl to spoon onto each serving. Makes 18 to 22 skewers, 8 appetizer servings.

Per serving (no sauce): 123 cal.; 13 g protein; 6.5 g fat; 3.2 g carbo.; 162 mg sodium; 39 mg chol.

Sauce. Mix 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon fish sauce (nuoc nam or nam pla) or soy sauce, 2 tablespoons light soy sauce, 1 teaspoon cayenne, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (corinader). Makes 1/3 cup.

Per teaspoon: 7.3 cal.; 0.3 g protein; 0.1 g fat; 1.3 g carbo.; 130 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Spicy Vegetable Dip (Nam Prik Ong)

Serve mild chili relish warm with crisp lettuce leaves, cucumber slices, cabbage wedges, or tender green beans. 6 dry California (Anaheim) or New Mexican chilies 1 small dried hot red chili 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander 1 teaspoon shrimp paste (gapi) or anchovy paste 4 shallots 10 cloves garlic 1 teaspoon salas oil 1/8 pound (1/4 cup) ground lean pork 1/3 pound medium (43 to 50 per lb.) shrimp, shelled, deveined, and minced 2 tablespoons lime juice 1 teaspoon sugar Fish sauce (nuoc nam or nam pla), soy sauce, or salt 5 cherry tomatoes, stemmed and cut in half

Remove and discard stems and seeds from California and hot chilies. Crumble chilies into a bowl, and soak in hot water to cover until soft, 20 to 30 minutes; drain.

In a food processor or blender, combine the chilies, coriander, shrimp paste, shallots, and garlic (chop shallots and garlic first if using a blender); whirl until mixture forms a smooth paste, scrapping bowl often, 5 to 15 minutes.

Pour oil into an 8- to 10-inch frying pan and place over medium heat. Add chili mixture. Stir often until chili paste is fragrant and turns darker in color, about 5 minutes. Add pork; stir until it is crumbly, about three minutes. Add shrimp and stir, cooking until they turn pink, about 2 minutes. Add lime juice, sugar, and fish sauce to taste. Stir in tomatoes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 1-3/4 cups, 8 to 10 appetizer servings.

Per serving: 45 cal.; 4.4 g protein; 1.3 g fat; 4.1g carbo.; 47 mg sodium; 23 mg chol.
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Title Annotation:recipes
Publication:Sunset
Date:Jan 1, 1990
Words:700
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