Linden Font

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Batten down the hatches Melbourne

Thai pork salad

It's not spring in Melbourne if you don't spend at least one night awake, willing your roof to stay attached to your house. Monday night was particularly nutso. So nutso our garage door was blown off its hinges. It was just as spectacular as it sounds.

Between giant metal doors flying through the air and the finale of Breaking Bad, it's safe to say I was more than a little rattled. Matty and I attempted to fix the door in the howling wind: he, with hammer in hand, me, with a 50kg door held above my head. Use your core, Bennetto! This is what all those hours of pilates has culminated to! And they say the hundreds are useless.

I climbed under the covers well after my usual bed time and closed my eyes. Do you think I could sleep? No. It really felt like they were filming Twister right outside our window. Sleep was not on the agenda. Kitty clawing my toes didn't help much either.

Thai pork salad

So how does one soothe the soul after a night of such adventure? Probably not by waiting around for a tradie to come and fix said door, but by whipping up a Thai pork salad. That's this weirdo's meaty kinda pacifier.

This salad is a quadruple threat (like if Beyonce could crochet). It's hot, sweet, sour, salty all in one manic mouthful. It's up to your own personal taste to find the balance of those flavours that work for you. I'm big on the salty kick from fish sauce, so I go pretty hard on that. But you might dig the tang a squeeze of lime gives the salad. Whatever floats your long tail boat.

And as always, there's any number of substitutes you could make with this recipe. Snake beans not stocked nearby? Regular old green beans will do. No galangal? Try ginger. Pork can be mixed up with chicken or even sliced beef. In fact, I used the paste the next day with sliced pork cutlet, and I gotta say, it knocked my knee-highs off.

So the wind in Melbourne isn't due to die down any time soon. Expect more broken tree limbs and dilapidated garages in the coming days. And know that somewhere out there in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, there's a terrified young lady fear-gorging on Thai pork salad. It's good for what ails ya.

Thai pork salad


2 cloves garlic, chopped roughly
4cm piece of galangal, chopped roughly
1/2 piece lemongrass, chopped roughly
1 shallot, chopped roughly
1 chilli, chopped roughly
1 green mango, shredded
6 snake beans, cut into 10cm lengths
10 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 spring onion, chopped into 1 cm pieces
1 handful of bean shoots
2 limes
1 1/2 tbsp palm sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp peanut oil
200g minced pork
1/2 bunch thai basil
1/2 bunch coriander

To make paste, pound the lemongrass, galangal, garlic, shallots and chillies in a mortar and pestle. It helps to pound one ingredient at a time, adding the next once they're properly pastey. 

Add the paste to a hot wok with the peanut oil. Stir fry gently for a few minutes, then add the mince. Cook on high until the meat has browned. Add the beans and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes. Add the palm sugar and fish sauce and remove from heat.

Add the mango, lime juice, bean shoots, herbs and spring onions and serve.

Thai pork salad

No comments:

Post a Comment