I’ve been pining to return to Laos recently. I left some good friends in the forest there, and I miss them.
They taught me things about plants that I will never forget. Simple humble folk who knew the forest in such a deep, intimate way that I felt that I knew nothing.
I suppose experiences like that keep me humble. The more I know, the less in fact I do.
This recipe is for Pon, one extraordinary human being, whose feet I could have sat at for years learning his plant knowledge.
- 500g minced pork
- 3 carrots (diced small)
- 2 shallots (sliced)
- 4 garlic cloves (chopped)
- 2tbsp fish sauce
- 2tsp vegetable bouillon powder
- 2 green chillies
- 1tbsp sichuan peppercorns
- 3tbsp vegetable oil
- 100g orache (chopped)
- 15g fresh thai basil (chopped; regular basil doesn’t work!)
- In a pestle & mortar smash up the sichuan peppercorns & green chillies.
- Heat a wok, add vegetable oil and when hot add the garlic, then the pork, fish sauce and bouillon powder. Stir for roughly 2 minutes.
- Next add the carrots and shallots and mix well, then add the smashed sichuan peppercorns and green chillies and stir fry until the carrots and shallots are soft and the pork is cooked.
- Now add in the chopped orache and thai basil and still until they are wilted, then serve with white rice.