Indian Green Pork Curry with beans

This curry is inspired by Lamb and Spinach – another “green” curry that is a family favourite.

The mint and coriander meld with the pork and other spices to create a deliciously fragrant curry. I add green beans for additional “greenness” and serve sprinkled with shards of fresh ginger for added zing, with basmati rice and sweet mango chutney.

Prep time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 1 hr 10 minutes
Ingredients:

500g pork shoulder diced (with or without bones)
1/2 cup white vinegar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion diced
5 cloves garlic and equal amount ginger
2 fresh red chillies
Handful of curry leaves
2 sticks cinnamon (preferably bark)
3 cardamom pods
3 dried red chillies
1 teaspoon panch phoran (Indian Five Spice Mix)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cummin powder
1 bunch coriander
1 bunch mint
1 teaspoon salt
2-3 cups water or chicken stock
Extra ginger cut into fine strips and coriander leaves for garnish

Method:
1. Place pork in a bowl and pour over vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon salt, set aside while you prepare other ingredients.

2. Crush ginger, garlic and fresh red chillies with 1/2 teaspoon salt in a mortar and pestle.

2. Chop coriander and mint together – I use a Mezzaluna – then add the ginger, garlic and chilli paste and continue to chop together to meld herbs with the paste.

3. Heat vegetable oil in heavy bottom casserole pot, add cinnamon sticks, curry leaves, panch porum, dried red chillies and cardamom and heat until fragrant taking care not to burn the spices.

4. Add onions and cook until soft and translucent.

5. Add cummin, turmeric to onion mixture and stir through cooking out spices for a minute.

6. Add pork, coriander and mint paste to the onion mixture and cook until pork is “sealed” stirring to avoid pork mixture sticking to bottom of the pot.

7. Add enough water or stock to cover pork and bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer and cover the pot with a lid. Cook slowly for an hour, until the pork is tender, adding more water from time to time if the mixture starts to stick.

8. Add green beans and cook for 10 minutes.

9. Check consistency to reduce liquid if required. Taste to see if extra salt required.

9. Garnish with shard of ginger and additional fresh coriander. Serve with basmati rice and sweet mango chutney and Indian pickles.

Indian Spiced Crab with crispy wafers

This makes a delicious canapé served with crispy thin wafers or mini pappadums on the side. Also be perfect on betel leaves if you can source them. Buying the pre-packed  crabmeat makes this a very quick and easy recipe to make. I made this recipe up on Christmas Day and it received good reviews from the family so thought I would share…unfortunately no end product photos!

Prep time: 5 minutes  Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients
1 x 400g/500g tub of crab meat (available from seafood shops or supermarkets in Australia) – fork through crab meat to break chunks up
1 onion finely diced
1 tablespoon of ginger and garlic paste (2 cloves garlic and equivalent ginger ground to a fine paste)
2 sprigs of curry leaves removed from stalk
1/2 cinammon stick (preferably cinnamon bark)
1/2 teaspoon cummin powder
1 red chilli finely diced (can be omitted)
1 tspn black mustard seeds or nigella seeds
1.5 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
salt to taste
Handful of coriander leaves, very finely chopped

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Method:
Heat oil in non-stick pan over medium heat
Add cinammon bark and curry leaves to flavour oil until curry leaves stop spluttering
Add onions and cook slowly (sweat) over medium heat until translucent and tender
Add ginger and garlic paste and sautéed for 1 minute
Add mustard seeds, chilli and cummin powder and let heat through for 1 minute
Add crabmeat and cook through for 3-4 minutes to allow crab to absorb spice flavours – – continue to break up chunks into crab flakes
Taste to see if salt required
Remove curry leaves and cinammon stick
Add very finely chopped coriander leaves and mix through
Serve in bowl with a spoon with crackers on the side or make up individual serves by placing a spoonful of the crab mixture on each cracker

Noodle Soup with Thai Red Roast Pork

The weather in Sydney this weekend has been awful with very high winds and torrential rain. It feels like winter has really arrived. Of course this  is perfect weather for heart warming soups, roast and casseroles. What a great excuse for comfort food!

This soup is a perfect antidote to winter blues and just as good in summer as it has a light chicken stock base. You can really season this to your taste and leave out the fresh chillies if you prefer a less spicy option.

You will need Thai Red Roast Pork for this recipe which will extend your preparation time if you are making yourself and not “cheating” and buying it at your closest Chinese BBQ store. Same goes for the chicken stock – of course homemade is always nicer but if you don’t have time or any frozen in the fridge then store bought is fine. It is good to fry the finely chopped garlic to  a crisp; and also roast and crush the peanuts, so that is out of the way before you assemble the soup itself. Once you have these key ingredients in hand, everything else is a breeze.

Prep time: 15 minutes    Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
2.5 litres chicken stock
300g of roast red pork thinly sliced
50 g bean sprouts
4-5  iceberg lettuce leaves very finely sliced
200g dried egg or rice noodles (I use fine egg noodles)
2-3 tablespoons fish sauce, depending how salty your stock is
1 tablespoon sugar
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped and fried to a crisp
1-2 fresh red chillies chopped (optional)

Garnish:
choppped coriander leaves
2 sping onions finely sliced
dried chilli flakes
roughly chopped roasted peanuts

Method
Heat one tablespoon vegetable oil in a small non-stick frying pan and fry garlic until golden and crisp, take care not to burn. Remove with slotted spoon and place on paper towel to drain. (I make extra fried garlic to use as a garnish as well.)
Dry roast peanuts in a frying pan, then crush roughly in a mortar and pestle or roughly chop
Slice lettuce leaves, coriander and spring onions finely. Keep seperately.


Bring stock to a boil, then bring to a simmer. Add pork, sugar and 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, then add noodles and simmer for about 5-8 minutes until tender. Add fresh chopped chillies at this point if using.


Taste to see if additional fish sauce needed
Add fried garlic, bean sprouts and lettuce.
Immediately turn off the heat and serve in deep soup bowls and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with other garnishes to the side.

Thai Red Roast Pork

This is a succulent roast pork recipe that is so easy to make. As well as being delicious thinly sliced and accompanied with cucumbers as a centrepiece of a Thai meal, the leftovers are delicious in Thai Pork Noodle Soup. If you can’t be bothered making it, of course you can buy red roast pork readymade from your local Chinatown.

Prep time: 5 minutes Marinate: minimum 2 hours or overnight

Cooking time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:
1 kg of pork loin fillets
1/2 teaspoon red food colouring
1/4 cup of water
1 tablespoon each of fish sauce, hoisin sauce, light soy sauce, Chinese cooking wine or sherry
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
3 cloves garlic crushed
1/2 teaspoon five spice powder
2 star anise crushed
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Coriander to garnish

Method

Put all ingredients except pork, water and red food colouring in a blender and blend until a smooth paste form

Mix red food colouring and water in steel or ceramic bowl

Add pork and using gloves massage food colouring, then marinade into meat, cover with plastic wrap

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Set aside in refigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight

Pre-heat oven to 230 degrees celcius

Put pork on roasting rack and keep marinade for basting

Cook pork for 10 minutes to create a “crust”, then lower heat to 180 degrees and baste regularly with marinade, cook for another 45-50 minutes at least. Check meat to ensure it is cooked – Be careful not to cook too long as it will dry out.

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Serve warm after resting for 10 minutes, then slicing. Goes well with sliced cucumber and Thai sauces or use in stir fries and soups.
Serves 4-6

Crispy Asian Roast Pork Belly Salad

This is a delicious way to eat pork belly with crunchy crackling and moist roast pork tinged with the flavours of Asia – soy sauce, coriander, chilli, and hints of black vinegar. All it really needs is some steamed greens and jasmine rice on the side for a complete meal. It would also be a very good pre-prepared dish made for sharing or as part of a buffet.

i have read many very different techniques for getting crunchy crackling but I just stick to the simple method of keeping the pork uncovered in the fridge for an hour or two and then drying with a cloth and rubbing the scored skin with generous amounts of salt before putting into oven. (Seems to work every time for me.)

And, as most of the prep and cooking time is just drying out the pork in the fridge and then roasting in the oven, you can get on and do other things without too much fuss.

Prep time: 2.5 hours  Cooking time:2 hours
Ingredients:

750g boneless pork belly, with skin scored both ways into cross-hatch
2 tablespoons soy sauce for marinade
2 tablespoons salt

Salad
half a bunch coriander chopped
1 red chilli finely chopped
1 eschallot or half a red onion very finely sliced
2 tablespoons Chiangkiang black vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Method
Dry out pork belly uncovered in fridge for at least 1 hour or even overnight
Put soy sauce on a plate or in a flat dish and carefully place pork, flesh-side down on top of sauce, taking care not to get any soy sauce on the skin – leave to marinate for an hour

Heat oven to 200 degrees celcius

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Pork marinating in soy sauce

Remove from marinade and carefully place on baking paper lined baking dish/oven tray.

Wipe skin once more then rub salt thoroughly into skin and in between scoring

Place pork in oven, and cook at 200 degrees celcius for 30 minutes, then reduce heat to 170 degrees and cook for a further 1 hour 15 minutes. Turn heat to maximum using the top grilling element to grill the pork until crackling starts to crisp up, about 10-15 minutes. Keep a close eye on the pork at this point as the skin can burn easily.

Meanwhile, chop coriander and chillies and slice onion finely,and set aside.

Remove from oven and rest about 25 minutes until medium warm, then cut into cubes, trying to keep crackling and meat connected where possible.

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Crispy roasted pork belly

Mix herbs, onions and chillies with black vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil.

Cut pork into cubes along the scored “lines”

Layer the pork with the herbs mixture, drizzling the dressing over the pork.

Serve with steamed greens and jasmine rice. I also like steamed pumpkin with salted black bean sauce with it and I promise to post that recipe soon.

Serves 2-3 with other accompaniments.

image Crispy Asian Pork Belly Salad with steamed greens and pumpkin[/caption