Friday, March 07, 2008

Minced Pork & Shrimp in Coconut Milk

We had ground pork (as usual) and had to figure out a new way of cooking it. We usually have giniling or torta... but we wanted to do something different. Besides, we wanted a new, exciting dish to publish here. ;)

It was hard finding a recipe that used ground pork. Finally, we looked through The Best Recipes in the World by Mark Bittman (of How to Cook Everything fame) and found a very intriguing recipe.

Minced Pork & Shrimp in Coconut Milk (Southeast Asia)

Basically, it called for infusing some aromatics (garlic, ginger, chile peppers) in coconut milk and cooking the minced pork and shrimp in the flavorful liquid. We followed the recipe somewhat faithfully but had to adjust it because of the quantity of our protein. We also added some vegetables.

2 lbs ground pork (not pictured)
2 lbs shrimp. chopped/minced
1-2 cans coconut milk
8-12 cloves garlic
2-inch piece of ginger
2-3 (or more) chile peppers (according to taste)
handful cilantro
4-6 stalks green onion
fish sauce to taste

the quantities above yield A LOT -- and I mean, A LOT -- of the finished product. In the Mark Bittman recipe, he only called for 1/2 lb pork and 1/2 lb shrimp.

I sliced/chopped the green onions and cilantro...

...then minced together the garlic, ginger and chile peppers in the mini food processor.

I added the coconut milk and the minced aromatics into a pot.

(Alternatively, one can do 1 part coconut milk and 1 part water. That's what we did: 1 can of coconut milk and an equal amount of water.)

Heated the mixture until boiling, then the ground pork went in.

Don't worry if it still looks a little scary right now. ;)

It was around this time when we realized we had some green beans. So, we decided to add the green beans to the pot!

I think any "firm" vegetable would be OK to add. Broccoli, asparagus...

Looking at the pot, we realized we needed a bigger one. See, we weren't expecting to add the green beans, and as one can see above, the pot was now way too full. So we transferred the whole thing to a bigger pot.

Ah, now there's room for the ingredients to stretch in there! =)

We let the mixture cook for a bit until the pork was cooked through and the green beans were almost (but not quite) cooked through.

Next, the shrimp.

The photographer -- no names mentioned, JS -- was elsewhere when I added the shrimp into the pot. So, no shot of that. However, look below and you'll see the pieces of shrimp that are turning red/pink.

Added fish sauce to taste. I added about 5 Tbsp, let's say.
Of course, salt & pepper as well!

We didn't want the dish to be too "broth-y". We wanted a thicker, more luxurious sauce. So we made a cornstarch slurry and added that to the pot.

Then, the green onions and cilantro.

Final product over rice
(Rice, of course!)

This was a definite winner!

I must say, I like the addition of the green beans. It gave the dish contrasting textures: the slight "crunch" of the green beans versus the soft and creamy minced pork and shrimp. If one prefers, adding only coconut milk (instead of diluting it) would be rather nice as well. A great one-pot dish!

I was answering the phone! That was why I could not take pictures of the shrimp.

Yes, this was a definite winner. It was delicious and I'm thinking it would go very well with a sunny-side up egg on the side with rice. A condiment of chilis in vinegar would be also heavenly.

I liked the green beans too. My only complaint was that it could have been cut smaller, maybe about half the size so it fits more with the rest of the dish.

The technique of simmering the aromatics in coconut milk could work with vegetables. For somebody picky with vegetables, this can make the veggie-genre more palatable. It's a kind of Asian take on creamed vegetables.

Definitely recommending this one -- so delicious and so easy to do.

Yes, re the vegetables. I was actually thinking that next time, this could be a vegetable dish instead, with the minced pork and shrimp playing a secondary role.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds really good. I really like cooking with coconut milk.


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