Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pork neck cooked in lemongrass and chilli

Until recently, my Thursday nights were centered around Luke Nguyen's cooking show, Vietnam, where Luke took us on a culinary tour through his family's native Vietnam.  The food and the scenery were so beautiful that I longed to be there.  I will admit there were some things that I am not keen to try (dog penis anyone?), but most of the food was delightful.

I am not well acquainted with Vietnamese cuisine, so I was excited when Luke's second book, The Songs of Sapa, became available through our work bookclub.  It is a beautiful book, and I have enjoyed browsing through the pages, but I am also keen to try some of the recipes.

For my first dish from The Songs of Sapa, I made Pork Neck Cooked in Lemongrass and Chilli (p153).  Perhaps one thing that I didn't appreciate when I made this dish was the words "serves 4-6 as part of a shared meal".  I believe that Luke intends that for one meal, you will make a number of dishes, and I found the portion size quite small.  Next time, I will double the portion size so that there is enough for my once-a-week cooking outing.

Despite the small portion size, this dish tasted wonderful.  The chilli, lemongrass, garlic and fish sauce worked well together and gave the pork a lovely subtly spicy Asian flavour.  I served the pork with boiled rice and bok choy that had been stir fried with soy sauce, honey and ginger.

If you would like to try this dish (bearing in mind my comments about portion size), you will need:

2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 stems lemongrass, white part only, finely chopped
3 crushed cloves garlic
4 birds eye chillies, finely chopped (I used two ordinary chillis)
300g skinless pork neck cut into 2cm cubes
150ml water (I forgot this!)
(optional: fresh coriander and sliced cucumber to serve)

Put the sugar, fish sauce, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 tablespoon lemongrass, 2 teaspoons garlic and two teaspoons chilli into a large bowl, and stir well to combine.  Add the pork to the bowl, coat it in the sauce, then cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Heat two tablespoons oil in a frypan or wok, and add the remaining lemongrass, chilli and garlic, and stir fry until fragrant.  Add the pork and stir-fry for 3 minutes.  Add the water, then cook for a further 10 minutes.  Transfer the meat to a serving bowl and garnish with coriander.  Serve with rice and sliced cucumber (if desired).


Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

That looks great and simple too! Even fast enough for a week day dinner! :D

Anonymous said...

I love pork neckbones. Filipinos make a similar version, which is really delicious. Your dish looks delicious, especially with the bok choy!

Elaine said...

I have cooked with lamb neck, but not pork neck. It sounds really good.