Ginger Pork With Peanuts (Meang lao)

Serves     6-8


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 large shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 lb ground pork
3 tablespoons tamarind juice
6 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons peeled finely chopped gingerroot
1/2 cup peanuts, roasted and coarsely ground
1 bunch spinach, leaves (or lettuce leaves) (optional)
fresh cilantro stem, and sliced red bell pepper, for garnish (if not using the spinach)


Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium‐high heat and sauté the garlic and shallots until crisp
and brown but not burned, about 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
In the same pan, brown the pork, breaking it apart as it cooks, about 3 minutes. Stir in the
tamarind juice, sugar and salt. Stir in the fried garlic and shallots and the ginger. Lower the heat
to medium and cook for 3 minutes more, or until the liquid has almost evaporated. Stir in the
peanuts. Remove from the heat and set aside.
If you want to make little packets, dip the spinach leaves in boiling water to blanch and lay out
on a towel to drain. Place a teaspoonful of the pork mixture in the center of each leaf, and fold
over both sides of the leaf and then fold the top and bottom over. Arrange seam side down on
a platter. If you decide to forgo the packets, put the pork mixture in a serving bowl and garnish
with cilantro and red peppers. Serve warm or at room temperature with rice.


Notes and Instructions