Monday, September 25, 2017

Calling in sick

My daughter passed the flu to me over the weekend, so I was totally crashed out on my bed last Sunday. All my shopping and photo plans for the column fell apart. I ended up checking my pantry to see what I could produce. Honestly, I wanted to cook something very easy and yummy that might renew my appetite.

photo: Phyophoto: Phyo

I keep green and red curry pastes and sambal paste in my pantry, and some mince is always in the freezer in case I have to multiply the meal to accommodate surprise guests or don’t get a chance to go to the market.

A few weeks ago, I found an MSG-free Thai curry paste called Dancing Chef at Marketplace, so I bought a few to stock up. So I made stir-fried pork mince with spicy red curry paste. To dilute the heat, I added the juice and zest of an orange. I also saw that John had bought baked beans in tomato sauce for his breakfast and lunch, so I took one of the cans and made it into a stew with inspiration from a recipe of my mum’s friend.

Well, things didn’t turn out the way I planned. Writing this, I myself still don’t feel well. But luckily the “plan B” menu worked.

Red curry pork mince in orange sauce

Serves 6

• 500g pork mince

• 1 tsp ginger, grated

• 1 tbsp Kikkoman soya sauce

• 2 tbsp red curry paste

• 4 onions

• 2 cloves of garlic, crushed

• 3 tbsp vegetable oil

• 1 orange (zest and juice)


Using kitchen paper, pat the pork mince dry. In a glass bowl, mix it with the soya sauce and 1 tbsp of the red curry paste. Leave it for an hour at least.

Cut the onions roughly. Add the oil to a wok and heat it on high. Turn down to medium and sauté the onions. When they become transparent, add the garlic and ginger. Fry until the aroma of the garlic emerges.

Add the remaining red curry paste and fry for 1 minute more. Adjust the heat to control the oil spitting.

Add the mince to the wok, and use a wooden spatula to crumble it. Stir it well, bringing the heat back to medium-high.

After all the water in the mince has been cooked off, add the orange juice and ¼ cup of water. As soon as it starts bubbling, turn the heat down to simmer. Then add the orange zest and stir well. Simmer for 5 minutes to infuse the flavours.

Serve with rice.