Executive chef Matt Lohasuvarnkij from Issaya Siamese Club Hong Kong gives us a demonstration of the modern way of Thai cooking.
He prepares for us grilled pork chop stuffed with minced pork with green chili paste, a signature main course of the restaurant.
The Hong Kong eatery, by the way, is the sister of renowned Thai restaurant Issaya Siamese Club in Bangkok, which ranks 19th in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016.
In this dish, the center of thick slices of pork chop is stuffed with stir-fried minced pork with basil. Each bite gives contrasting textures of the meat.
Seasoned with fresh green chili peppers, lemongrass and cumin, the green chili paste is spicier than the typical Thai yellow curry.
In order to strike a balance, Lohasuvarnkij adds a few characteristic vegetables such as palmito and Thai eggplants into the curry.
Palmito, or the heart of palm, is a vegetable harvested from the inner core of Chonta palm trees in the Amazon rainforest.
Considering its source, palmito is rare, which is why it is dubbed the King of Vegetables.
Palmito is ranked alongside olive oil and nattō as healthy ingredients, thanks to its high content of dietary fibers, vitamin C, calcium, iron and plant proteins.
As for Thai eggplants, the crunchy and refreshingly sweet fruit is one of the favorite ingredients in Thai curry.
Here’s the recipe for grilled pork chop stuffed with minced pork with green chili paste:
200g a slice of pork chop, 80g minced pork, 10g basil, 30g cabbages, 30g palmito, 3 Thai eggplants, 20g green chili paste, 5g fresh green chili peppers, and 2g ginger.
Ingredients for the marinade:
5g garlic (chopped as a paste), 5g oyster sauce, 5g light soya sauce, 3g chili peppers, and 3g coconut sugar.
Directions:1. Mix the minced pork and all the ingredients for the marinade well.2. Cut in the middle of the slice of pork chop with care to form a pouch.3. Stuff the marinated minced pork mixture into the pork chop slice. Seal the opening with a bamboo skewer.4. Seal the slice in a vacuum bag and slow cook it in a water bath of around 56 degrees Celsius for a day.5. Heat the pan with oil. Pan-fry both sides of the pork chop slice.6. Add basil, Thai eggplants, palmito and fresh green chili peppers into the green chili paste, and heat the mixture. Separately, blend the cabbages till they turn into a mushy paste to be decorated on the side with the pork chop.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Dec. 24.
Translation by Darlie Yiu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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