Another great recipe from Thai Food by David Thompson with a few small changes to the cooking method made by myself. A really sweet dish that should be offset by serving with other sour dishes. Note that you should use 3 whole coriander stems for the recipe, use the leaves to garnish and the roots for the paste. I deep-fried my own fresh shallots but they can already be purchased fried as well. I used the dried granular palm sugar, the original recipe called for 2 cups of natural palm sugar.
- 1 kg pork (belly is best, but use a whole pork cut)
- vegetable oil (for deep frying)
- 180 g palm sugar (dry, see description)
- 1⁄2 cup fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 3 tablespoons shallots, deep-fried
- 1 tablespoon coriander leaves
For the paste
- 1 tablespoon coriander (3 roots scraped and diced)
- 1 g salt (pinch of salt)
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 teaspoon white peppercorns
- 1 star anise, roasted and ground
- Steam pork until well cooked. This will take 30-60 minutes depending on your steamer and the cut of meat so check for an internal temperature of 70C (155F) with a meat thermometer and remove at that temperature.
- Allow to rest 10-15 minutes at room temperature and then place in refrigerator a while to cool.
- While pork is cooling you can make the paste by adding all the paste ingredients one by one to a mortar and pestle and pounding until smooth. Set to one side.
- Mix fish sauce and oyster sauce in a small and then mix in the palm sugar until dissolved if using soft palm sugar, or otherwise just break solid palm sugar into a few pieces because it will dissolve later in the wok.
- Cut pork into cubes of around 1cm (1/2").
- Deep fry the pork over moderate heat until nice and golden, remove and drain.
- Add a little of the left-over oil from deep frying to a wok over moderate heat and stir fry until golden in colour and fragant.
- Add sauce / sugar mix to wok and lightly stir once or twice until it has become sticky.
- Reduce heat, add pork and simmer a few minutes until coated. The meat will become tough if you leave it too long.
- Serve sprinkled with deep-fried shallots and coriander leaves.