RECIPE TITLE "Aromatic Lemongrass Patties [mak paen - laos]"
Hot Sour Salty Sweet: A Culinary Journey through Southeast Asia
Makes 7 or 8 patties; serves 4 as part of a rice meal ---
There's a small evening market in Luang Prabang, just between
the post office and the river. Tiny candles light the tables where
vendors sit selling grilled fish, dark red salsas, sticky rice,
grilled chicken, spicy curries, and piles of fresh and plain-cooked
vegetables to eat with whatever foods you buy.
One of our favorite local specialties in the market is mak paen,
small aromatic grilled meat patties. Luckily, we've discovered that
they are almost as easy to make at home as they were to pick up
at the evening market (though minus a considerable element of atmosphere
. . .).
Serve these hot, or set aside on a plate to cool, then wrap well
and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Use, thinly sliced,
as a topping for Vietnamese Savory Crepes (page 280), or for noodles,
or as an ingredient in Saigon Subs (page 287).
- 1/2 pound boneless reasonably lean pork (shoulder or butt, trimmed
of most fat)
- 1/4 cup sliced shallots
- 1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed and minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Thinly slice the pork. Transfer to a food processor, add the shallots
lemongrass, salt, and pepper and process for about 30 seconds or until
the mixture forms an even-textured ball. Turn out into a bowl. Alternatively,
use a cleaver to finely chop the pork, first in one direction and
then in the other, then fold the meat over on itself and chop again
until smooth, discarding any fat or connective tissue. Add the shallots
and lemongrass and continue mincing until the mixture is smooth, then
transfer to a bowl.
Set out several plates. Working with wet hands, pick up a scant
2 tablespoons of the pork mixture and shape it into a flat patty
2 to 3 inches in diameter. Place on a plate and repeat with the
remaining mixture; do not stack the patties. You'll have 7 or 8
Heat a large heavy skillet (or two smaller heavy skillets) over
medium-high heat. Rub lightly with an oiled paper towel and add
the patties. Lower the heat to medium and cook until golden on the
first side, then turn over and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes,
until golden and cooked through. As the patties cook, use a spatula
to flatten them against the hot surface. (You can also grill or
broil the patties until golden and cooked through, turning them
over partway through cooking.)
Serve hot, with rice, a vegetable dish, and a salsa.
Notes: A close relative of these patties, called cha heo, is made
in markets in the Mekong Delta. The minced flavored meat is shaped
into fairly thin strips about 2 inches long and 3/4 inch wide, then
threaded onto skewers and cooked over a grill. As the meat cooks,
it's brushed with a little sweetened coconut milk, making it very
succulent. To try it, before you begin grilling, warm some coconut
milk and dissolve some palm sugar and a little fish sauce in it.
To make a thai-lao salad (a yam) with this aromatic flavored pork,
slice the cooked patties into thin strips and place in a bowl with
an equal volume of thinly sliced shallots, along with some finely
chopped fresh mint and/or coarsely torn coriander leaves. If you
have some leftover cooked sausages (see Index) or Vietnamese Baked
Cinnamon Pâté (page 259), or Vietnamese Grilled Pork
Balls (page 252), cut them into bite-sized pieces and add to the
salad. Dress with a lime juice and fish sauce dressing such as the
one used for Turkey with Mint and Hot Chiles (page 202). Don't be
shy about using hot chiles in the dressing, and use plenty of Aromatic
Roasted Rice Powder (page 309) if you have any handy. Serve with
sticky rice or jasmine rice.
|True Thai: The Modern Art of Thai Cooking
Surprisingly light preparations for meat include Fiery Grilled Beef Salad, a classic of Bangkok cafe cuisine, and mu kratiem phrik Thai, a simple stir-fry of pork medallions sizzling with garlic and black pepper. The Thai Vegetarian Cooking chapter is really a whole book unto itself, encompassing its own blend of curry pastes, soups, appetizers, entrees, and one-dish meals-all completely free of animal or fish products. The Thai Salads chapter showcases such recipes as Coconut, Lemon, and Ginger Salad or Grilled Lobster Salad with Green Mango that demonstrate the great variety and sensuousness of this branch of Thai cooking. Drinks and desserts include such ethereal treats as Rose-Petal Sorbet and the refreshingly herbaceous Lemon Grass Tea, wonderful either hot or cold. There's also a chapter that shows how to marry these newfound Thai tastes with classic American cooking, through such improvisations as Bangkok Burgers with Marinated, Grilled Onions and Spicy Thai Ketchup.
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True Thai's 250 recipes, each with helpful and fascinating notes, present Thai cuisine with simplicity and elegance. True That is the most authentic, authoritative, and accessible Thai cookbook ever printed in English. More info
|Quick & Easy Thai: 70 Everyday Recipes
Now busy home cooks can bring the fantastic flavors of Thai cuisine into the kitchen with a simple trip to the grocery store. Nancie McDermott, experienced cook, teacher, and author of the best-selling cookbook Real Thai, presents this collection of 70 delicious recipes that focus on easy-to-find ingredients and quick cooking methods to whip up traditional Thai. With recipes like Crying Tiger Grilled Beef, Grilled Shrimp and Scallops with Lemongrass, Sticky Rice with Mangoes, and Thai Iced Tea, along with McDermott's highly practical array of shortcuts, substitutions, and timesaving techniques, anyone can prepare home-cooked authentic Thai meals -- as often as they like. More info
|Thai and South-East Asian Cookbook, the Ultimate: All the traditions, ingredients and techniques, with over 300 spicy and aromatic recipes illustrated step-by-step
This comprehensive volume is not just a guide to the delectable cooking of Thailand but also to the classic cuisines of Asia, from China through Korea and Japan, down through Burma, Thailand and Vietnam to the islands of Malaysia, Borneo, Indonesia and the Philippines. Each country has its own distinctive style of cooking, but they share a similar approach to food. This book is a magnificently photographed guide to the ingredients and cooking of Asia, filled with enticing, traditional recipes. More info
|Easy Thai Cookbook: The Step-By-Step Guide to Deliciously Easy Thai Food at Home
This wonderful collection guides you through every step, demonstrating all the basics needed to master this delicious cuisine. There are more than 70 recipes for salads, curries, stir-fries, fried, steamed, and grilled foods, and desserts: such luscious meals as Tom Yam soup, fish cakes, steamed mussels, green chicken curry, and stir-fry duck are all made tantalizingly easy. Also provided is a cross-referenced collection of 12 meal plans, from simple dinners for you and your family to exotic feasts for friends and guests. With stunning photography throughout and a CD of evocative music to cook and eat to, this is the one-stop Thai cookbook for beginners. More info
|Complete Thai Cooking
Authentic Thai cuisine has a rich, centuries-old tradition, and this authoritative handbook celebrates its many variations, with deft ideas for using many spices, sauces, flavorings, and styles. More than 100 recipes, most taking 15 minutes or less to prepare and cook, provide even gourmet cooks with a new range of delicious choices. The recipes start with snacks and starters, then introduce a host of multicourse meals featuring soups and salads, seafood, meat, and poultry main courses, as well as a range of vegetable side dishes and desserts. Even the names of the recipes are intriguing: Green Mango Salad, Son-in-Law Eggs, Jungle Curry Beef, Thai Fried Pie. Large full-color photos suggest mouth-watering presentations for all occasions. More info