Khao Man Som Tam

"This simple recipe is from Pok Pok in Portland, Oregon. Looks complicated but in simple steps is very easy."
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  • Make the Muu Waan at least a day ahead. Clean the excess fat and gristle from the pork butt and cut it into 1-inch thick pieces. Cut along the grain of meat so that long strands will form when the meat is shredded. Marinate the pork pieces in sweet soy. Marinate 2 hours.
  • Put the pork in a rondeau, or another round straight-walled pan. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat, cover the pot and cook slowly until pork is almost tender.
  • Turn the heat to high on the pork and reduce the liquid until relatively dry, leaving more of a glaze than a liquid. Roughly shred the pork with a stiff whisk and spatula. Do not wait until pork is already falling apart to reduce the liquid. This will produce a dry and tough product.
  • If the pork is accidentally cooked all the way before reducing the liquid, remove the meat from liquid and reduce separately, then return the meat to the pot. Chill until ready to use.
  • On day of service, in a rice cooker, combine the water, coconut milk or coconut cream, sugar, salt, and lime paste and mix until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Add the drained rice and mix thoroughly, making sure the rice is level in the cooker. Cook the rice according to the cooker instructions.
  • When rice is done cooking, smash the chiles, garlic and palm sugar in a mortar and pestle until the garlic is well ground; do this firmly but not violently.
  • Add the shrimp, mash lightly and then add the long beans. Smash them gently, just to break them up. Add the dressing and the papaya.
  • Combine the ingredients thoroughly without mashing the papaya. Add the tomatoes and crush to release their juices. Stir in the peanuts and combine well.
  • Taste should be sour, salty, sweet and spicy in good balance. The texture should be crunchy and slightly pink in color. Make no more than 2 servings at a time!
  • When ready to serve, heat the Muu Waan Sweet Pork in microwave for 1 minute 15 seconds in shallow cambro or another microwavable dish. Put a scoop of rice from the rice cooker on a medium oval plate. Put 1/4 of the cabbage on 1 end of the oval and put the Papaya Pok Pok salad on top of the cabbage. Put Muu Waan Sweet Pork on top of the rice in a strip and garnish with shallots and cilantro. Repeat with remaining plates.

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