This dish of stir fried pork neck with pineapple and vegetables (muc xao khom) is from Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam. Speedy cooked it.
For the longest time, I’ve been asking Speedy to blog about the dishes that he cooks. He’s become such a good cook lately — a far cry from the early days of our marriage when all he could manage were cheese omelet and fried hotdogs. These days, he can go to the market without me and buy all the right vegetables (he still refuses to buy fish in the wet market by himself). He’s even become better at finding the market with the best bargains.
The switch from Dream Satellite to Cignal TV was a huge factor. We had Travel & Living Channel before; we have Food Network now. Although we miss Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations like crazy, we’ve been learning a lot from the Food Network shows too. Well, some shows. We only watch a few. We skip Sunny Anderson, the Neelys, Bobbly Flay, Paula Deen and Rachael Ray altogether. We also don’t bother with the likes of The Next Food Network Star which is a reality show more than anything else.
Except for Junior Masterchef Australia, the rest of the food shows on other channels, we don’t bother with either. We don’t watch Top Chef and all those shows that look like cooking versions of American Idol. Personally, I don’t find them informative. I don’t even find them mildly entertaining.
What we don’t skip — ever — is Alton Brown‘s Good Eats. And Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam which is really on Cooking Channel but we get it on Food Network Asia. These two shows we learn a lot from. The entertainment value is a plus too.
Vietnamese Stir Fried Pork Neck with Pineapple and Vegetables (Muc Xao Khom)
- 300 to 400 grams pork neck (kasim for you Filipinos living in the Philippines), thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons sugar divided
- 2 to 3 tablespoons patis (fish sauce)
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 onion
- 1 bell pepper
- 1 tomato
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 stalk celery (save the leaves for garnish)
- 3 onion leaves
- 1 teaspoon tapioca starch (or corn or potato starch), dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
- Place the pork in a bowl. Add half of the sugar, fish sauce and black pepper. Mix well, working the seasonings into the meat. Cover and marinate for at least two hours.
- Crush and mince the garlic.
- Roughly chop the onion and bell pepper.
- Cut the tomato into quarters (or eighths, if it is rather large).
- Finely slice the celery stalk.
- Roughly chop the onion leaves.
- Mix together the remaining sugar, starch, vinegar and lemon juice for the sauce.
- Heat 2 tbsps. of cooking oil in a wok or frying pan. Add the pork and stir fry (see stir frying basics) until the meat changes color. Add the garlic and continue stir frying until the edges of the pork start to brown lightly. Scoop out the pork and keep warm.
- Add the remaining cooking oil to the wok and heat. Stir fry the onion, celery, bell pepper and tomato.
- Return the pork back into the wok. Add the pineapple chunks. Pour in the sauce. Cook, stirring often, just until the sauce thickens.
- Transfer the stir fried dish to a platter. Garnish with onion leaves and the celery leaves (and cilantro, if you like). Serve with hot rice.