Crispy Thai Pork Salad

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Back in 2016 the idea that I would be actively looking forward to making a salad would have seemed ridiculous, but here we are in 2018 – I guess that’s called progress.  It helps that this salad is so packed full of flavour it’s easy to forget that it’s healthy.  This recipe is in two parts – the crispy thai pork, and the pickled red onions.  If you want to plan ahead make the pickled red onion in advance and then the rest should come together in under 30 minutes.

Crispy Thai Pork Salad (adapted from Bon Appetit)

Serves 3-4 people

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  • 4 birds eye chillies
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 500g Pork Mince
  • Juice of 2 small limes
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons low-salt soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • Small handful of thai basil leaves
  • Small handful of coriander leaves
  • Small handful of mint leaves
  • 6 spring onions
  • 1 egg per portion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 cucumber
  • Pickled red onion (see recipe below)

Step 1 – Finely chop the chillies (if you like it spicy like me keep the seeds otherwise discard them) and slice the garlic.  Add the oil to a pan and fry the garlic and chilli for 30 seconds, being careful not to burn the garlic

Step 2 – Add the pork mince to the pan making sure to break it up.  Season with salt and pepper (go easy on the salt – with the stock and soy sauce you can easily overdo it).  Then resist the temptation to stir the pork, but instead press it into the pan helping it to crisp up.

Step 3 – While the pork is cooking in the pan combine the lime juice, soy sauce, fish sauce and chicken stock into a jug.

Step 4 – When the pork is cooked (after 6-8 minutes) add the liquid ingredients to the pan and stir.  Let cook on a low-medium heat until the liquid has all but reduced, should take about 5-6 minutes

Step 5 – While the liquid is reducing slice your spring onions and cucumber and set to one side.  Then roughly chop all the herbs and set aside. Then grate the carrot.  Also fry your eggs

Step 6 – Add the spring onions to the pork mixture, stir through briefly and then serve.  I serve each plate with a portion of grated carrot, a portion of cucumbers, a portion of the herb salad, a little bit of pickled red onion and top it with the fried egg.

(Note: As i’m currently losing weight through Slimming World, I replaced the olive oil with 1 calorie spray oil and used 5% fat pork mince to make this dish “syn free”.  This makes the pork a little more difficult to get crispy, but no less delicious)

Sichuan Pickled Red Onion

(Makes 1 0.5l jar)

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  • 1 large red onion
  • 200ml of white vinegar
  • 50ml of water
  • 40g sugar
  • Good pinch of salt
  • 1 bay leave
  • 6 allspice berries
  • 5 cloves
  • 8 sichuan peppercorns

Step 1 – Slice the red onion thinly into rings

Step 2 – Combine the vinegar and water with the sugar, salt and spices and bring to the boil in a pan until the sugar has dissolved

Step 3 – Add the red onion slices to the pan and mix together for 30 seconds to a minute.  Then take off the heat and let cool completely.

Step 4 – Add the onion slices and liquid (spices and all) into a jar and leave in the fridge

The pickles should be ready in a few hours and will keep for at least a week – they may very well keep for longer, but i’ve always used up the jar before the weeks out.

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