This blog maybe becoming a ‘sorry’ site, with probably too many apologies for staying in particular regions of the world. So far we have been to Lebanon and the Middle East a fair bit, interspersed with Spain, Mexico and more recently the lands in Asia, which are particularly fragrant.
In my last post I promised to move away, but just could not resist one last recipe, and another tasty curry from the land of the Khmer.
Khmer, or Cambodian, is the language of the Khmer people and the official language of Cambodia. With approximately 16 million speakers, it is the second most widely spoken Austroasiatic language (afterVietnamese). This dish can be found in Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey and as is usual, for me at least is an excuse to visit the local Asian Supermarket for fresh and unusual ingredients.
The 1st task is to create the Khmer ‘Kroeung’, or spice paste. The main components of this amazing mix are Lemongrass, Shallots, Garlic, Chilli’s, Kaffir Lime Leaves, Galangal, FRESH Turmeric and Shrimp paste. The Turmeric was a new one for me, fresh, is more earthy and less vibrant to look at before cooking, compared to the powder form.
Purists might opt for a pestle and mortar and pound each element to a smooth paste, I cheated and whizzed it in a small food processor designed for these type of tasks. A little water and sunflower oil helped the paste on its way, you can see the finished results above.
The protein for this dish was boneless pork shoulder, from our favourite Casey Fields Farm shop, those lads do an awesome job with their meat. Also needed will be Thai Aubergines (the little green beasties above, about the size of a golfball), a fresh Coconut, Tamarind, Fish Sauce, Palm Sugar, Coconut Milk and Thai Basil.Once browned in some oil, the Pork needs slowly simmering in the spicy mix with some water to slacken it a little, about 1 hour should do it. The mix then needs reducing a bit and the rest of the ingredients are added. The smell filling the kitchen was amazing.
The finishing touches include the freshly grated Coconut, I used the water from the Coconut to help slacken the mixture and add more flavour, the Fresh Pineapple which is cut into 1 inch chunks and Red Kampot Pepper (from Cambodia)!. The dish was served with some wilted Pak Choi, and plain Rice (and a delicious Riesling)!
I will try and keep my promise this time, this is the last Far Eastern dish for a while. It’s worth hunting out the ingredients as the taste is stunning, creamy, rich, hot and very tasty. If you google Khmer Pork Curry with Pineapple & Coconut you will find a variety of recipes, better still, buy Rick’s book as there are loads of other delights to try, it’s a worthwhile investment if you like this kind of food.
Until next time…………….L8ers…………