I just now dipped a spoon into the left-over sauce I made for this recipe to re-inspire myself to write this with all the flavour this dish has! It’s definitely yum and not difficult to make. Can I just say, though, if a dish that’s substantial, delicious and satisfying takes me over an hour to make I don’t think that’s a horrendous amount of time, but then I’m a foodie, so if I’m craving something- I have to have it! It was a lighter type of meal last night..filling, but much lighter ( than the meatball hero), the weather is slowly improving here (quite stunning today, in fact), and there are, finally, definite signs of Spring arriving. (My snakeheads (fritalleria meleagris) for example…guess you’ll have to zoom in on those…hang onthere’s a close-up of the white ones…the purple are more stunning with their clear snakeskin patterns, but I digress.
When you have to have (definite crave) the ginger, and the fruity and the garlic, oh yeah and the spicy with a good piece of meat.. then this is the dish for you. And the coconut rice…if you’ve never tried it, then get a life and make it. It is gorgeous.
To produce this on a Monday night when I’m not home until after 7 was challenging (Monday is usually a blissful ‘left-overs’ night in this house, but due to some extra cooking over the weekend I didn’t feel like blogging, let alone cooking on Sunday,wait now, actually – I did cook, but there wasn’t any left-over!!)
For the coconut Rice which serves 4 (because it’s very rich)
1 cup (8fl.oz) Thai Jasmine rice, 1/2 (4 fl.oz) cup water, 1cup (8fl.oz) coconut milk, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 Tablespoon caster sugar
For the Pork:
1 Pork Steak (Fillet of Pork), 1 Tblsp. sesame oil and 1 Tblsp. vegetable oil, 6 large cloves garlic (20 grams) grated, crushed or finely chopped, 1 oz./25 grams fresh ginger, grated, 1/2 medium sized red chilli, seeded and finely diced, 1 tsp. wasabi paste (optional if you don’t like it!), 2 Tablespoons soft, dark brown sugar, 1 mango (cut each large side off the mango, peel and dice. You will be left with the edges which you can make into fans for garnishes at the end). 1 fl. oz. sweet sherry (or white wine and a bit more sugar), 2 cups (16 fl.oz) freshly squeezed orange juice, 2 &1/2 fl. oz. soy sauce, 1 fluid oz. rice wine vinegar, 2 Tablespoons runny honey, garnishes of fanned mango (or mango fans “Yea!!!! we love mangos”, if they’ll fit on the plate!)
For the Stir–Fried Vegetables: (I usually use what vegetables I have, then cook the ones that take longer first and add in the rest at the end)…here’s what I used last night:
1 Tblsp. sesame oil, 1 Tblsp vegetable oil, 5 mushrooms, sliced, 2 sticks celery sliced, 50 grams green beans, 20 grams mangetout peas, 3 cloves garlic, chopped; 10 grams ginger, grated; the other half of the de-seeded chilli, finely chopped; 1/4 pint chicken or vegetable stock, garnishes of chopped scallion (green onion) and fresh coriander (cilantro)
For the coconut rice : Put the rice in a sieve and rinse under the cold tap until the water is clear. Drain and place in a saucepan with the other ingredients, bring to a boil, stir gently, cover and reduce heat to very low and cook for approx. 25 mins. The rice will be sticky (it’s in its nature, so don’t worry), fluff the rice with a fork or two chopsticks, cover and keep warm. Not on direct heat, just warm!
When you first put the rice on simmer, start your pork dish. Heat the oils in a deep frying pan over a medium heat. Lightly fry the pork fillet until golden brown on all sides (so you’ll have to turn it!). When it’s all golden brown, set aside. Drain off fat from the pan and add the garlic, ginger , red chilli and wasabi paste, if you’re using it. Stir that around in the pan then add the brown sugar, and diced mango, stir again and then deglaze the pan with at least (;-)1 fl. oz of sweet sherry.
Combine: fresh orange juice ( By the way, I HATE when people say ‘the juice of 1 orange’ or’ the juice of 1 lemon’…since when does 1 lemon have the same amount of juice as the next?!!) , soy sauce,rice wine vinegar , honey and add that to the pan.
Bring to the boil and then turn the heat down so the liquid is just simmering with a bubble to itself (kind of like those people you see walking down the street that have attitude, but aren’t quite arrogant).
Replace the pork steak into the pan and baste and turn the fillet regularly (not obsessively, just regularly. You could, for example be preparing your vegetables at this stage…..I’m really trying to teach you how to multi-task, but hesitate to use that word because some people hate it). This process takes about 20-25 minutes. Lift the steak and set aside in an ovenproof dish. Spoon about 2 Tablespoons of the liquid over the meat and cover with foil. Place in a low oven to rest. Put the sauce with the mango chunks into a tall container and whiz with an electric hand whisk, check the seasoning…you should have a sweet and sour sauce with quite a lot of zing from the rice-wine vinegar and the wasabi. It hits the back of the tongue very nicely for me and then has an after ripple of heat from the chilli and wasabi, but nothing overbearing. The sauce has a beautiful texture from the mango being liquidised and frankly, it’s simply sexy. Transfer to a small saucepan and keep warm while you stir-fry your vegetables .
Yes, I do cook like this almost every night and yes, he is very lucky. Sometimes he actually has to tell me how lucky he is (when it’s ultra special) before he can get his plate!! (i.e. “what are you?” “very lucky” ). But I’m very lucky too (Awwwww).
In a wok-type pan, heat the oils for the vegetables over quite a high heat, but not an obscene heat. (You may notice I use sesame oil and vegetable oil, which is because if you are using a good sesame oil, I find it can be over-bearing and take over more subtle flavours. It’s completely up to you what you want to do). Add the mushrooms, celery and green beans and stir constantly, cooking until they have a good bite to them still. Add the mangetout and almost instantly the garlic, ginger and chilli. Stir-fry for a.n.other minute or two add the chicken stock.
To Plate–up the dish:
Find a suitable mould, such as a small mug or a pudding mould and press the warm coconut rice into it. Invert onto the plates and spoon some of the sauce around the rice. Slice the pork fillet (3 slices is usually enough per serving), and distribute around the rice. Decorate with mango fans, chopped coriander and chopped scallions. I have used Hilary Jenkinson’s noodle bowls for the vegetables, but you can serve them on the plate with the pork if you prefer.
Hope you try it…and hope your tastebuds tingle for the right reasons! 😉 (Let me know)