Monday, March 5, 2012

Noodles with pork in red curry broth

Noodles with pork in red curry broth
This curry noodle soup is a specialty of the laotian northern region of luang
Namtha and is similar to a dish of the same name from northern Thailand. It is
widely believed, however, that Kao Soi originated in Myanmar. This version
combines coconut milk with a light pork stock, creating a delicious, subtle broth.
The steaming liquid is poured over raw vegetables, and it is completed with tender
rice noodles and bits of sweet pork. If preparing the dish with laotian Kore, omit
the optional Indian curry powder in that recipe, as it is added here.
1 lb (450 g) boned pork shoulder
2 oz (60 g) fresh ginger root
6 green onions, 4 of them crushed and
2 thinly sliced diagonally
2 tbsp fish sauce, or to taste
2 tbsp vegetable oil
5 tbsp laotian Kore (p274) or
store-bought Thai red curry paste
1 tbsp Indian curry powder
1 tsp shrimp paste
1 tbsp palm sugar
8 oz (225 g) coarsely ground pork

1 quart (liter) thick coconut milk
8 kaffir lime leaves, bruised
1 lb (450 g) fresh, thin, round rice noodles, or
8 oz (225 g) dried rice sticks, soaked in
water until pliable
5–6 oz (150–175 g) Chinese leaf, cut into
1/8-in (3-mm) julienne
1 bunch of watercress, large stalks discarded
4 oz (100 g) beansprouts
2 tbsp torn mint leaves
2 tbsp torn cilantro leaves
1 lime, quartered

Bring 3/2 quarts (1.5 liters) water to a boil and add the pork shoulder, ginger, crushed green
onions, and 2 tbsp fish sauce. Reduce the heat and simmer, partly covered, for about 1
1/2 hours or until the liquid has reduced by half. Transfer the pork to a cutting board to cool, then slice thinly
and cover with plastic wrap. Set the broth aside.
In another pan, heat the oil over moderately high heat and stir-fry the curry paste for 2 minutes or
until just golden and fragrant. Add the curry powder, shrimp paste (breaking it up), and palm
sugar, and stir-fry for about 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the ground pork and cook, stirring to
break it up, for about 7 minutes or until just golden. Reduce the heat and add the coconut milk, pork
broth, and kaffir lime leaves. Adjust seasoning with fish sauce. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Bring a pot of water to a boil. If the fresh rice noodles are cold, heat in the boiling water for
5 seconds; if they are at room temperature, skip this step. If using rehydrated rice sticks, cook
them for 3 minutes. Drain. Divide the noodles among 4 large Asian-style soup bowls and top with Chinese leaf, watercress, beansprouts, and sliced pork shoulder. Bring the spicy coconut broth to a boil, then ladle into the bowls. Garnish with mint and cilantro, squeeze a lime wedge over each serving, and serve hot.

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