|Khao Daeng (red Pork With Rice)|
Mu daeng is a complement to khao man kai. Indeed in Thailand vendors that sell one very often sell the other, but nothing else. Like khao man kai a good lunch time meal can be had for half a dollar or so. An interesting style for two people is to buy a portion of khao man kai and a portion of khao mu daeng and to share the meals.
Traditionally the pork was marinated in a highly complex mixture of herbs and berries to turn it sweet and red. Today the marinade at most street vendors stalls is water to which a little artificial red food dye and a dash of sugar is added. What follows is my sister-in-law's recipe, and she got it from her father. Father-in-law used a very traditional recipe, but this version is somewhat simplified.
In Thailand the food is cooked by placing it on a grating in an iron bowl hanging from a tripod over a charcoal brazier, the whole being covered with a large metal drum, such as a 55 gallon oil drum, to trap the smoke and enhance the flavour of the meat.
If you have a domestic food smoker, or can improvise one with a barbecue, then go ahead, otherwise, add a little "Liquid Smoke" and cook the dish as follows.
Again this will feed two hungry people or four with moderate appetites.
The meat is then removed from the liquor in which it has cooked, and drained, then placed under a grill or broiler on high heat and browned. Allow it to cool and then slice it into strips and the strips into bite sized pieces.
Bring the cooking liquor back to the boil, and add 2 tablespoons of dark sweet soy, 2 tablespoons of honey, and 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar. Reduce to a thick sauce like consistency adding a little cornstarch or rice flour if necessary to thicken it.
Serve the pork on a bed of rice, garnished with coriander leaves, with a supply of cucumber slices and place the gravy in a small bowl so the diner may take as much as they choose.
Note that the meat and sauce may be served cold.
From: Colonel I. F. K. Philpott
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