Today was definitely an Alice in Wonderland meets Peter Rabbit kind of day in Burnham – my sea side English country home for the next week. By noon I had drunk two teas, picked wild blackberries from the side of the road, befriended a goat (called Matilda), purchased courgettes from a farm paddock and fallen off my bike onto a cabbage patch. I mean, come on. It’s almost too much for my soul to handle.
Smoggy KL feels very far away. And then I think of KL. And then I think of Asian food. And this is the result. Punching in flavour and texture – this Thai Chinese love child is my ‘I can’t be bothered to think about dinner’ dinner and hopefully it’ll be the same in your home tonight. For now, I am off to have another tea and pat my zucchinis.
Pork & Shiitake San Choy Bau
1 large red onion, sliced
5 cloves of garlic,chopped finely
2 red chillies, chopped finely
250g shiitake mushrooms, sliced – see note
250g good quality pork mince
4tbs fish sauce
2tsp oyster sauce
2tsp soy sauce
2tbs caster sugar
1tbs white pepper
Large bunch of coriander, thai basil & mint, roughly chopped
Handful of green beans, chopped into 2cm pieces
Lettuce cups to serve
Heat your oil in a large wok then add the onion, garlic and chilli. Fry off for 2 minutes on a high heat. Add the mushrooms and reduce the heat slightly and stir fry for further 5 minutes.
Add in the pork mince breaking it up over the high heat until coloured then pour in your sauces, white pepper and sugar. Continue to stir fry for 3-4 minutes then add the fresh herbs and green beans. Stir fry for 2 minutes then taste to ensure the balance of salty, sour and sweet is on par. You can always add little dashes of the sauces to intensify the flavour.
Serve with the lettuce cups and dig in.
Note: chicken or beef mince will work also. Or for vegetarians, tofu and tempeh. Shiitake mushrooms should be found in the Asian section of your grocery. If you can only find dried ones, cover them in a bowl of boiling water and rehydrate for 10 minutes then drain. Alternatively, swiss brown or portobello can be used.