This is rather like a tomato-based pasta sauce with a wonderful Thai flavor. A staple in northern Thailand, it's available in every market there, no matter how small.
Plus: More Pork Recipes and Tips
1 teaspoon minced dried shrimp or 1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
1 or 2 bird or serrano chiles, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon minced fresh lemongrass, white bulb only (or 1 teaspoon dried
lemongrass, soaked for 1/2 hour, then drained and minced)
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 pound lean ground pork
1 pound ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped, or 8 canned plum tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup light chicken stock, canned low-sodium broth or water
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
How to Make It
In a mortar or small food processor, grind the dried shrimp with the shallots, chiles and lemongrass.
In a wok or a large nonreactive skillet, heat the oil. Add the garlic and stir-fry over moderately high heat until it starts to brown, about 20 seconds. Add the shrimp mixture and stir-fry for 30 seconds, then add the pork and stir-fry until browned, about 4 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, stock, fish sauce and sugar and increase the heat to high. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Reduce the heat to low and partially cover the pan. Cook the sauce until thickened, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve with rice.
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