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Thai Spicy Pork with Lime (Moo Manao) Recipe
This dish is very quick and easy to make and it goes very well as one of many dishes in a larger Thai style dinner. Although it is normally served very spicy, people wary of chili fire can use whatever amount they’re comfortable with.
The chili and garlic called for in the recipe can be finely minced, but the results are better if the chili and garlic are smashed together in a mortar and pestle. As an alternative to a mortar and pestle, you could also use a mini food processor…or you could just chop it all up finely with a knife – that will work too!
This recipe calls for cilantro root, which is the (as the name would indicate) the white root part below the cilantro stalk. This has an almost garlic like flavor and it’s widely used in Thai cooking. If the cilantro you buy doesn’t come with the root attached, don’t worry about it.
Thai Spicy Pork with Lime (Moo Manao)
- 1 lb of pork tenderloin, sliced very thinly
- ¼ cup of smashed Thai bird chilies (smashed in a mortar and pestle, preferably)
- ¼ cup of smashed garlic (smashed likewise, in a mortar and pestle)
- 2 tsps of finely chopped cilantro root (the root, not the stalk). If you can’t find this, don’t worry about it too much
- ¼ cup of fish sauce
- ½ cup of freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tsps of sugar
- 1 tsp of MSG (optional, but widely used in Thailand)
- Lettuce, for garnish
- Mix the smashed chilies and garlic, the cilantro root, the sugar, the lime juice, the MSG and the fish sauce to make a dressing (mix it up well to incorporate the tastes). Taste for seasoning – it should be spicy, salty and sour; add more lime juice, chili or fish sauce as needed.
- To cook the pork, bring a saucepan of water to a simmer and then boil the pork slices until just barely cooked, a minute or two. The time this takes will depend on the thickness of the pork slices, but watch the pork slices carefully and remove them from the boiling water as soon as they have cooked through (overcooked pork will be unpleasantly dry).
- If you have a wire spider, you can just dip your pork in the water in batches contained within the wire spider (see the pic of a spider below). This will help you get the pork out quickly once cooked, so that it doesn’t overcook.
- Arrange lettuce leaves on a plate and then arrange the pork on top. Pour the dressing over the pork slices and serve with steamed jasmine rice.
Spicy, easy and delicious.
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