Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Thai Style Pork

I've remade the Thai Style Pork Salad with Papaya and Mint from Plated January 2014 several times this year because we just love it. It's "blog worthy" according to Jim and first appeared on my instagram feed in July when it made an appearance on my weekly menu board.

When I made it recently for my MIL I was reminded how quickly it can come together with little effort. It also proved to be a great "prep-ahead" meal that transports well, say if you want to deliver dinner to a friend.

3/4 c jasmine rice
I have used both white rice and brown rice in this recipe successfully

3 T vegetable oil
1 shallot

This is not a necessity, but I really like the crunch it adds to the final meal. You could sub for fried onions or for a super easy shortcut buy a can of French's French Fried Onions. You know, the ones your mom puts on top of her green bean casserole? Not healthy, but delish! 

12 oz pork tenderloin
My tip here is I found the marinated packaged HEB brand pork tenderloin. I spent $5 on the "Italian Tenderloin" and it was delicious and plenty for three adults and one child. I rinsed the meat and patted dry before seasoning with salt and pepper and searing.
1 clove garlic
Come on. You know I would never use just one clove of garlic!
1 red Thai chile
I can never find red Thai chile in my local grocery store. I use a serrano chile instead.
1 green papaya
Another ingredient I have a hard time finding. The papaya in my grocery store is yellow and HUGE and usually don't look like they are in the best condition. They are bruised and oozing. However, since I'm usually serving 2 people, I don't need the entire papaya. I cut away all the ugly parts and then slice only the pretty part of the fruit.
1/2 bunch mint
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 c bean sprouts
I have a friend who will not eat bean sprouts because she read that they are very hard to clean and therefore are a dirty food. Sadly, there are plenty of online articles to back up this belief. I think the original recipe includes bean sprouts because of the texture it adds to the salad portion of the meal. I've used it, and I've also left it out. Once I purchased sunflower baby greens. I don't feel like this ingredient is an absolute necessity though.

1 T dark brown sugar
Don't make a special trip to the store to buy "dark" brown sugar. If you have brown sugar in your pantry, use that.
1 T fish sauce
This may not be a condiment that most people have in their pantry, but it should be. I use it a lot in my cooking and find it easily at my local HEB. There is no substitute for fish sauce.
2 limes
1 c salad greens per person
The addition of salad greens is my recipe edit. I like the way this dinner is stacked with the rice on bottom, the dressed greens piled on the rice and then the pork slices on top all finished with the crispy shallots. To bump up the healthy aspect of the meal and also make it more filling I use a handful of mixed greens per person.

Papaya is a tropical fruit indigenous to south and Central America. Green papaya is slightly underripe with a firmer texture that makes it perfect for salads. It is packed with vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber.


1. Cook Rice
Cook rice according to package directions. If you are using Jasmine rice, here is what you should do. In a small pot, bring jasmine rice, 1¼ cups water, and a pinch salt to a boil over high heat. Stir once, cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 12 minutes. Remove pot from heat and allow to stand, still covered, for 10 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork, and set aside.

2. Crisp Shallot
Peel shallot and thinly slice. Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a small pan over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add sliced shallot and cook until crispy. Drain, discard oil, and set aside on a paper towel-lined plate.

3. Cook Pork
Rinse pork and pat dry with paper towel. Season all over with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add pork and cook, turning, until golden on outside and cooked through, 12-15 minutes.
Cooking tip: Be sure to pat the pork very dry before cooking. Doing so will help it to develop a golden brown and crisp crust. Pork today is very lean and shouldn’t be overcooked. The best test of doneness is to use an instant-read meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your pork. http://www.porkbeinspired.com has a helpful spreadsheet with pork cuts and cooking methods along with internal temperatures.

The National Pork Board recommends cooking pork chops, roasts, and tenderloin to an internal temperature between 145 degrees (medium rare) and 160 (medium), followed by a 3 minute rest.  Since large cuts increase approximately 10 degrees while resting, remove them from the heat at 150 degrees followed by a 10 minute rest. Doneness for some pork cuts is designated as “tender”. This includes small cuts that are difficult to test with a thermometer and large cuts that cook slowly at low temperatures. Ground pork, like all ground meat, should be cooked to 160 degrees. Pre-cooked ham can be reheated to 140 degrees or enjoyed cold.
4. Prepare Ingredients
Mince garlic. Rinse red Thai chile and mince. Peel papaya and halve. Scoop out seeds, discarding, and thinly slice flesh. Rinse mint and cilantro and pick leaves, discarding stems. Rinse bean sprouts.

5. Make Salad
To make dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together minced garlic, minced chile, dark brown sugar, fish sauce, and juice of 2 limes. In a large bowl, toss together sliced papaya, mint and cilantro leaves, bean sprouts, and dressing. This is where I add the additional salad greens and additional dressing if needed, but the juice of two limes usually is good for us.

6. Plate Pork
Cut pork into ¼-inch slices. Divide jasmine rice evenly between 2 plates. Top with salad, sliced pork, and crispy shallots. Serve.

Posted with permission from Plated.

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to try this. I hope I can find papaya this time of year!


Your comments mean a lot to me, I love hearing from you!