LUANG PRABANG PORK STEW WITH BITTER GREENS/ OAW’ MOO SAI PAKKAT

LUANG PRABANG PORK STEW WITH BITTER GREENS/ OAW' MOO SAI PAKKATLaos is another Southeast Asian country that is bordered by Vietnam, China, Burma, Thailand and Cambodia. Its cooking has lots of influence from Thailand and Cambodia. Luang Prabang is one of the large cities in Laos. Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid shared that there’s a certain acid-bitter aroma and taste that appears in at least one dish per meal at Luang Prabang and is strangely appetizing. So, after I read that I kinda wondered how the dish would be like. The only way to find out was to cook it, wasn’t it ?

This Luang Prabang pork stew with bitter greens are quite simple to make. The depth of the flavor of this stew comes from the herbs like dill and greens and also kaffir lime leaves. When the dish was done I gave it a taste and at first I thought “geez..I don’t think hubby is going to like this” I mean it’s slightly bitter from the greens and it tasted kinda strange. He ate it and liked it. The stew was strangely addicting to us too. I made a Lao Salsa to go with it and it amplified everything to the next level, at least to us.

LUANG PRABANG PORK STEW WITH BITTER GREENS/ OAW' MOO SAI PAKKAT (4 servings)
 
What you will need:
  • ½ lb fairly lean pork (shoulder or trimmed butt)
  • 2 Tbsp minced pork fat or vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped shallots
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 4 cups water
  • ¾ lb Chinese mustard greens/ curly mustard greens (which was what I used), Chinese broccoli/Yu Choy, or broccoli rabe, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 3 to 4 stalks dill (about 1 oz)
  • 5 Chinese chives, cut into 1-inch lengths (approximately ¼ cup), or substitute ¼ cup sliced regular chives
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • Greens from 3 scallions, finely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Instructions:
  1. Thinly slice the pork into strips about 1½ inches long and ½ inch wide and set aside
  2. If using pork fat, place a large heavy pot over medium heat and toss in the fat; when it has melted, raise the heat to high. Or, if using vegetable oil, place the pot over high heat, add the oil, and heat until very hot. Toss the shallots and garlic into the pot and stir as they start to soften and change color
  3. Add the sliced pork and stir-fry, using your spatula to separate the pieces and expose all surfaces to the heat, until the pork has changed color. Add the water and then toss in the greens, dill, and chives. Stir to immerse the greens in the water and bring to a boil
  4. Tear 3 of the lime leaves into coarse pieces and add to the pot. Stir to make sure all the ingredients are immersed, then lower the heat and simmer gently, half-covered, for 1 hour. Stir occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking. The dish will cook down, leaving 2½ to 3 cups liquid and very melting greens. Add the fish sauce, stir, and taste for seasonings
  5. NOTE: The stew can be made ahead to this point and set aside until just before you wish to serve it. If leaving for longer than 2 hours, let cool completely, place in a well-sealed nonreactive container, and refrigerate. About 5 minutes before you wish to serve the stew, bring back to a gentle simmer)
  6. Add the chopped scallion greens to the stew, stir, and add the remaining lime leaves. Transfer to a serving bowl and generously spoon so guests can help themselves. Serve as one of several dishes in a rice meal. Invite your guests to begin with a mound of rice on their plates and then top with some stew, or provide small individual bowls for the stew, so guests can eat it on its own or with their rice

LUANG PRABANG PORK STEW WITH BITTER GREENS/ OAW' MOO SAI PAKKATLUANG PRABANG PORK STEW WITH BITTER GREENS/ OAW' MOO SAI PAKKAT

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