Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Thai Yard Long Beans with Pork!








     Thai Comfort Food!
     Thai Long Beans with Pork (Phat Phet Thua Fak Yao Mu Sab) is not a well known recipe in the western world.  In Southeast Asia this recipe is well known.  Long Beans with Pork is a home cooked meal, but in many Thai restaurants the same recipe is used as a topping for pan fried whole fish.
     Yard Long Beans come from climbing tree vines that are like air plants.  These vines are not the same genus as bean plants, but the flavor of the cooked beans is nearly the same.  Yard Long Beans have a very nice green bean flavor that is perfect with pork.
     The sauce in todays recipe is rich tasting and a little bit spicy.  Bottled Thai Oyster Sauce adds sweetness with a hint of umami flavor.  Soy Sauce is part of modern Thai cuisine.  There are several kinds of soy sauce and I usually specify Thin Soy Sauce.  Thin Soy Sauce is available in large bottles at Asian food markets.  Thin Soy Sauce has a very gentle flavor and it is forgiving if too much is added to a recipe.

     Thai Yard Long Beans with Pork (Phat Phet Thua Fak Yao Mu Sab): 
     This recipe yields 1 large portion that can be shared by 2 guests.
     Step 1:  Finely mince 3 garlic cloves and 1 green serrano chile pepper together.
     Continue to mince till the ingredients resemble a paste.
     Set the garlic chile paste aside.
     Step 2:  Heat a sauté pan or wok over medium/medium high heat.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of coconut oil.
     Add the minced garlic and chile pepper mixture.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of ginger paste.
     Saute the mixture till the garlic turns a light golden color.
     Step 3:  Add 7 ounces of lean ground pork.
     Stir fry the pork.  Break the ground pork into small pieces as it cooks.
     Step 4:  When the pork is almost fully cooked, add 2 tablespoons of thin soy sauce.
     Add 2 cups of vegetable broth.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of palm sugar.
     Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of shrimp paste.  (Shrimp paste is used as a flavoring ingredient in many Asian pork recipes.  Shrimp paste is very strong and a little dab goes a long way.)
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of galangal powder.
     Add 2 pinches of white pepper.
     *No salt is needed!  The soy sauce and shrimp paste have enough salt content to flavor the recipe.  The oyster sauce that is added later also has salt in it.
     Step 5:  Stir the pork and the seasonings together.
     Bring the liquid to a boil.
     Add 1 1/4 cups of trimmed long beans that are cut into 1/2" long pieces.
     Stir the ingredients as the liquid comes back to a boil.
     Step 6:  Add 3 tablespoons of Oyster Sauce.
     Rapidly simmer and reduce till the excess liquid evaporates and there is only enough sauce to glaze the pork and long beans.  (The long beans should be fully cooked by this time.  Long beans only take 3-5 minutes to cook.)
     Step 7:  Reduce the temperature to medium low heat.
     Add 1 thin chiffonade sliced Kaffir Lime Leaf.  (If none is available, then add 1 teaspoon of grated lime zest.)
     Add 1 teaspoon of lime juice.
     Add about 12 small whole Thai Basil Leaves.
     Toss the ingredients together till the herbs wilt.
     Remove the pan from the heat.

     Presentation:
     Thai Yard Long Beans with Pork can be served with rice or over a pan fried whole fish.  When served with rice, a fried egg usually garnishes the entrée. 
     Step 1:  Place 1 portion of sticky rice in a rice mold or small cup.
     Invert the mold onto a plate.
     Remove the mold from the rice.
     Step 2:  Spoon the long beans and pork on the plate around the rice.
     Place 1 fried sunny side up egg on the pork and long beans.  (optional)
     Garnish the plate with a Thai Basil sprig and a couple of sliced lime curls.
 
     As one can guess because of the sweet flavor, most folks like extra spicy hot Thai Yard Long Beans with Pork.  If you prefer extra spicy, then add 1/2 teaspoon of Thai Chile Paste or 2 minced fresh Thai Chile Peppers.          

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