This quick-cook diced pork can be used to top a rice or noodle bowl. It has an amazing balance of bitter and sweet from the beer caramel, along with punchy heat and ginger notes. This is a dish that will have your friends and family wondering when you became such a great Thai cook.
- 1 Tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
- 1 lb (4 50 g) diced pork sirloin or center-cut loin (silver skin removed)
- 3 shallots, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp (15 mL) finely grated fresh ginger
- 1 hot Thai chili, split
- ½ red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- ¾ cup (175 mL) lager beer or water
- ¹⁄3 cup (80 mL) packed dark brown sugar
- Fish sauce or salt Sriracha sauce to taste
- 4 cups (1 L) cooked jasmine rice
- 3 cups (750 mL) cooked sugar snap peas
- Sliced green onion, chopped peanuts, fresh cilantro leaves and lime wedges, for serving
- Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. Add the pork, making sure to brown on all sides.
- Once browned, remove the pork to a plate (it won’t be cooked through). Reduce the heat to medium and add the shallots, garlic, ginger, hot chili, bell pepper and celery.
- Cook, stirring, until the shallots are softened and lightly browned to a golden color, about 5 minutes. Stir in the beer and brown sugar, then turn up the heat to medium-high and boil, stirring occasionally, until reduced to a syrup consistency and the bubbles are quite small, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add the pork back to the sauce, stir well, and season with the fish sauce and Sriracha.
- Cook until the pork is cooked through and the sauce coats it like a glaze, 2 to 3 minutes more.
- Serve with the rice and sugar snap peas, topped with the green onion, peanuts, cilantro leaves and lime.
Note: To serve this as an appetizer, use whole lettuce leaves as wraps. Fill with the spicy meat mix and top with the sauce, herbs and peanuts for a handheld package of explosive flavors. You can also use up leftover cooked pork roast by cooking it in this sauce. Dice and add from the point of searing the meat
Excerpted from Living High Off the Hog: Over 100 Recipes and Techniques to Cook Pork Perfectly by Michael Olson. Copyright © 2019 Michael Olson. Photography by Janis Nicolay. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited.