Recipe ingredients and directions:
This is a hot a spicy soup, part of a tradition of what might be called
"poacher's food" if they originated in the British countryside, though the
term might be misunderstood here in Thailand: specifically a hearty simple
production using "game" style animals, such as wild pig or venison, as well
as fish, and "free range" poultry, as well as game birds such as pheasant.
This dish is made from pork. Recent monsoonal floods had made some wild pigs
a nuisance on a friends farm, and the result was three "suckling pigs" as
well as an adult boar and sow, neatly dressed out and looking for a recipe.
This then is my wife's version of moo maw fai, or pork hotpot.
It is prepared using a "Mongolian Fire Pot" - the sort of soup heater with a
central funnel that traditionally sits on charcoal, but today is often gas
fired. You could also use a European style fondue set.
The pork is precooked, but diners may drop pieces into the hot liquor to
warm them, as well as absorbing the flavour of the stock, and usually
ingredients are either simply thrown into the pot and then scooped out when
cooked, or placed in small bronze-wire baskets and dipped in the steaming stock.
The eggplants should be either the pea sized makheua phuang or the golf ball
sized makheua pro, which are usually quartered. If Thai egg plants are not
available then use a purple aubergine, and carve ball shaped pieces from it
with a melon baller.
This traditional preparation uses pig fat as the cooking oil for the meat.
If you prefer you can omit the belly pork, increasing the amount of
tenderloin, and frying it in vegetable oil or groundnut oil. However this
traditional variant gives a fuller and richer flavour.
1 small pig's liver
2 small pig's kidneys
1 small pork tenderloin
1 pound of belly pork or "streaky" bacon, with the rind (skin) on.
10 cups of nam sup (basic soup stock)
4 Tablespoons of nam pla (fish sauce)
3 tablespoons of nam prik pao (chili paste in bean oil)
3 tablespoons of red curry paste
6 pieces of lemon grass, 2" long, bruised
2 Tablespoons kha (galangal), ground
1 teaspoon kapi (fermented shrimp paste)
1 teaspoon prikthai (black pepper), freshly ground
1 teaspoon palm sugar
1 teaspoon prik pon (powdered red chilis)
1 Tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
3 Tablespoons of hom daeng (shallots), thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon of kratiem (garlic), thinly sliced
1 cup mint leaves
1 cup bai kaprao (holy basil leaves)
2 cups of Chinese cabbage (or lettuce, cabbage or kale)
half a cup of bai chi (coriander/cilantro leaves)
1 cup of Thai eggplants
1 cup of (mixed) mushrooms
trim the liver, kidneys, and tenderloin to bite sized pieces, discarding the
hard core of the kidneys. Carefully slice of the outer layer of fat and skin
from the belly pork, and dice it, then dice the remaining belly pork.
In a wok, over medium heat, stir fry the pieces of belly pork skin with fat
attached, until the fat begins to render freely to form a pool of oil in the
bottom of the wok. Now add the rest of the belly pork and stir fry with the
heat as high as possible (bearing in mind that pig fat smokes at a low
temperature, so be careful), to make the meat and skin well cooked, and
crispy, then using a slotted spoon or wok strainer, remove the meat and
skin, and place it on kitchen towels to drain.
Saute the shallots and garlic, until golden and crispy. Remove, drain and
Turn the heat down to medium-low (when the temperature settles, a clean
chopstick, placed in the oil, should just form a coating of small bubbles).
Now gently stir fry the liver, kidneys, and tenderloin, until just cooked
through. Remove and reserve it for later.
In a saucepan, bring the stock to a gentle boil and add the other
ingredients for the liquor, stirring to combine and then tasting and if
necessary adjusting the flavor balance (by adding extra curry paste, fish
sauce, or sugar). You may also optionally add a tablespoon of lime juice at
When the liquor is to your taste, transfer it to a heated Fire Pot or fondue
pot (or an electric "slow crock" can be used).
The mint, basil, Chinese cabbage, and cilantro leaves, together with the
cooked shallots and garlic and the crispy belly pork (and optionally the
skin), are tossed to form a salad. Place the eggplants and mushrooms in two
small bowls next to the Fire Pot.
Basically diners place some of the salad in a soup bowl, heat up a selection
of pork, eggplant and mushrooms, and add them, together with a helping of
the soup liquor to the bowl, season liberally (usually with prik dong
(pickled chilis), prik pon (chili powder), and sugar, though dark soy,
Worcestershire sauce, and ground pepper may also be added.
This dish, together with a plate of vegetable crudites and a suitable nam
prik (dipping sauce), would be a natural accompaniment for a dinner with,
say, a curry, fried fish in sweet & sour sauce, and maybe a steamed chicken
in ginger and chili sauce, for 8-10 diners.
It could also, on its own form a hearty luncheon for 5-6 diners.
Category: Asian Recipes