Inspired by a chicken dish that Alex and I learned at a cooking school in Vietnam, this pork and mushrooms with Thai basil is delicious with fried egg and rice.
A pork version of a chicken dish. Because… why not? If we could substitute chicken for pork in sinigang when chicken is not traditional at all, why can’t the same principle be applied to other dishes? Does the substitution work in this case? Oh, yes. In fact, the longer cooking time allows the meat to soak up the flavors of spices and herbs better.
Why pork loin? Because it has enough fat to make a tasty dish and it does not need a long time to cook. The absence of fat in pork tenderloin makes it a bad choice. Although pork belly has enough fat, the length of time it requires to cook will disqualify this dish from the category of “fast and easy.”
We love fast and easy dishes at home. Most days, anyway. But “fast and easy” are not words that can describe my blogging experience over the past few weeks. Internet connection has been bad to terribly bad. The router has to be reset every 30 seconds or so. Well, sometimes the connection lasts for five minutes straight, and that’s bloody lucky.
PLDT sucks. It always has. But it’s the only internet provider in our area so it’s not like we can afford to be choosy. Third World blues.
So, know that it took over four hours to post this recipe. That’s more than four times the usual length of time that a recipe and its accompanying photos get transferred from my computer to the blog. But, they’re all here now. I hope you get to try this recipe soon because the dish is just so tasty. Smells terrific too.
- Cut the pork loin into half-inch cubes.
- In a bowl, combine the fish sauce and oyster sauce. Add the pork and mix well. Cover, refrigerate and marinate for at least an hour.
- Cut off the roots and dark green portions of the lemongrass, and discard.
- Peel off and discard the outer layer of the remaining (light-coloreportion of the stalks to get the usable part. Lightly pound the usable part and mince.
- Peel the skin off the ginger, then mince.
- Smash the garlic cloves, shake off the skins and discard. Mince the garlic.
- Cut off and discard the top part (with the stem) of the chilies. Split in the chilies in half, scrape off and discard the seeds (unless you want your dish to be super spicy) before mincing.
- Set the stove to medium-high. Heat up a large thick-bottomed pan and pour in the oil.
- Sauté the lemongrass, ginger, garlic and chilies, until just starting to turn brown.
- Add the pork. Stir then spread them out in a single layer. When the pork changes color, flip them over.
- Add a cup of water. Stir. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn up the heat and allow to boil uncovered to reduce the liquid.
- Tear the mushrooms apart into bite-size pieces.
- Add the mushrooms to the pork, stir, and place a sprig of basil on top. Cover the pan tightly.
- Count ten seconds then turn off the heat. Wait ten minutes before lifting the cover. The pork should be done at this point.
- Scoop out the contents of the pan and transfer to a shallow bowl. Optionally, garnish with fried shallots and cilantro before serving.
If you cooked this dish (or made this drink) and you want to share your masterpiece, please use your own photos and write the cooking steps in your own words.