Dave's Laksadaisical Pork and Rice

(Any resemblance to a genuine Laksa dish is totally unintentional. I am a male kiwi haus-herr with a near-fatal attraction to whatever has the brightest labels in the Asian food shop.)

Meat: (for two people)

400-500g pork pieces, finely cut
1 tablespoon peanut oil - (or grapeseed or rice bran. Anything but soy or canola. I'm a soy and canola snob).

Sauce: This makes enough for two to three meals. I make up one batch and iceblock the remainder for later use

Toast 2 generous teaspoons cumin seed and 2 generous teaspoons coriander seed lightly, and bruise thoroughly/grind lightly.

Place in a blender, or in a bowl for hand blending, and add

Zest of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1 medium lemon
150ml coconut cream
1 generous teaspoon ground turmeric
1 generous teaspoon garlic paste
2.5cm of grated ginger root
1/2 to 1 teaspoon chilli, to taste
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Thai Fish Sauce as sold by your local Asian shop.

Blend well.

(For two people) heat a cup of long grain white rice and a half teaspoon of salt in a heavy base pan while you wait for the kettle to boil. Keep the rice moving. Add 1.5 cups of boiling water, turn heat to low and cover the pan. Water should have evaporated and rice be fluffy and cooked in about 15 minutes or so.

Sear the pork in a little oil until brown (all right, creamy beige) on both sides. Turn down the heat and stir/fry gently for a few minutes until mostly cooked. Add about a third to a half of the sauce mix and continue to cook on a lowish heat until you can no longer detect the raw onion in the sauce. The sauce will evaporate some. You may wish to add a little water if it starts to stick or look drier than you want. Remember, it's being eaten with fluffy white rice so you need a reasonably liquid sauce.

Serve over fluffy white rice.

With a little thought you could probably adapt this recipe for fish, or chicken, or even a root vegetable combo

Coconut Cream Not all coconut cream is created equal. If you look at the nutritional info in the microprint on the back of the can you will see fat content ranging from 5% through 25%. It is the latter end you want.

Chilli Powder You know your local supplier and you know how much chilli you use for a meal for your family. I have superhot chilli, and I use very small amounts. Americans typically add their "chilli powder" by the tablespoon, as it is mostly oregano and paprika. (I would personally not use oregano anywhere near this recipe. It is swell with beans and tomato.)

Spice Grinding. I use a dedicated electric coffee grinder which I picked up in a hospice shop for $5. Once you have ground spice in an electric grinder it will never do for coffee again, ever. I also use a thrice fired mortar and pestle which I made myself when I was a stoneware potter, but you can get these at many Asian or Indian shops. Even some kitchen supply shops, though you can pay through the nose at these.







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