Grilled Flank Steak with Soy-Chile Glaze

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 1/4 pounds flank steak
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Thinly sliced scallions and lime wedges

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. In a small saucepan, heat the oil. Add the garlic and ginger and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic begins to turn golden. Add the soy sauce, sugar and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, until syrupy, about 3 minutes; let cool.

Season the steak with salt and pepper. Grill the steak for 10 minutes for medium-rare meat, turning once; during the last minute, brush all but 2 tablespoons of the glaze over the steak. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let stand for 5 minutes.

Miso-Sesame Steak Marinade

3 tablespoons red miso
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
2 medium garlic cloves, finely grated
1 1/2 pounds skirt steak, trimmed and cut crosswise into 5- to 6-inch pieces, patted dry
2 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
5 teaspoons grapeseed or other neutral oil, divided

In a medium bowl, whisk together the miso, soy sauce, chili-garlic sauce, sugar, sesame oil, ginger and garlic. Measure 2 teaspoons of the mixture into a small bowl and set aside. Add the steak to the remaining mixture, turn to coat and marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, to the reserved 2 teaspoons, stir in the vinegar and 3 teaspoons of the grapeseed oil, then set aside.

Remove the steak from the bowl an pat dry with paper towels. In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil until barely smoking. Add half the steak in a single layer and cook without disturbing until well browned and the center of the thickest piece reaches 125°F for medium-rare, another 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a platter, then repeat with the remaining steak, using the fat in the pan. Tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.

Stir any accumulated juices on the platter into the reserved miso mixture. Cut the steak against the grain on the bias into thin slices and return to the platter. Serve with the miso sauce.

Shan Noodles

Shan noodles can be served over a bed of rice noodles or served with broth.

1 lb chicken (or pork), chopped
8 oz. dried Shan noodles (rice noodles)
2 onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and chopped
8 tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons chili powder (optional)
8 tablespoons peanuts, crushed
2 scallions, chopped (for garnishing)
6 tablespoons vegetable oil

Place the dried noodles in a large bowl of cold water.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Turn off the heat, and place the dried rice noodles.

Heat oil in a large wok. Fry the onions, garlic and ginger for 6 to 8 minutes.

Add chili powder and continue to stir fry for minute.
Add the chopped chicken (or pork), tomatoes, tomato paste, and stir well. Add soy sauce and sugar and cook over a medium heat for 15 minutes until all tomatoes are crushed.

Put a handful of noodles into a bowl. Add 4 tablespoons of chicken curry, crushed peanuts and adjust with soy sauce to taste. Add a few spring onions. Serve immediately with pickled mustard greens (optional).

Lok Lak (Cambodian Shaking Beef)

1 1/2 lb beef steak, sliced
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 scallions, chopped
For the marinade
3 tablespoons tomato sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons fish sauce
1/4 teaspoon Kampot pepper
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon chicken broth powder
2 teaspoons potato starch (or cornstarch)
3 teaspoons paprika

For the sauce
Juice of 5 limes
3 tablespoons cold water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic , chopped
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon Kampot pepper

Sides
A few leaves lettuce
2 ??tomatoes , sliced
Steamed white rice

Mix all the marinade ingredients in a salad bowl, add the meat and stir well.

Marinate the meat for 1 hour in the refrigerator.

Heat the 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a wok or pan and fry the chopped scallions over medium heat until they turn light brown.

Add the meat, mix well and sauté for 5 to 10 minutes.

In a bowl, stir all the ingredients of the lok lak sauce vigorously.

Prepare large plates.

In each plate, place a bed of lettuce leaves and a few slices of tomato.

Place the meat on the lettuce leaves and sliced ??tomatoes.

Serve with steamed white rice.

Place a small bowl of lok lak sauce on the side or the center of each plate.

Lap Khmer (Cambodian Laab)

3/4 lb beef tenderloin, sliced ??very thinly
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 teaspoons chopped fresh lemongrass
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon pahok (fish paste)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 small red onion, very finely sliced
1/3 lb yardlong beans (or green beans), cut very finely
1/2 lb soybean sprouts
2 tablespoons rice, toasted and ground
1 tablespoon chopped mint
1 tablespoon chopped basil
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 small red hot peppers, chopped

Drain the meat by pressing it to get rid of all its water and its blood. Set aside.

Heat a small skillet. When it is hot, add the oil, garlic and lemongrass, mix well and add water and pahok (fish paste).
Leave the pan on medium heat and cook for 2 minutes after reaching the boiling point. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

Place the raw beef in a large bowl. Pour the fresh lime juice over the beef. Mix well and set aside for 10 minutes.

Add the fish sauce, sugar, and onion and mix well.

Add the beans and the soy sprouts and mix well.

Add the pahok and mix well.

Add the toasted rice powder and herbs, and mix well.

Garnish with chopped red hot pepper before serving.

Tuk Trey (Cambodian Chili Sauce)

4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 red hot peppers, chopped
3 teaspoons roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
2 limes, squeezed
7 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
4 tablespoons water

In a mortar, pound the garlic, peppers, lime juice, sugar and water with a pestle to obtain a paste.

Add the fish sauce and mix. Add the peanuts and mix well.

Recipe Notes
There are many variations of this sauce. You can adjust the ingredients according to your taste: – By adding more fish sauce if you want it to be salty, or more water for the opposite. – By adding more sugar if you prefer it sweeter. – By adding more lemon juice if you want to accentuate the sour side.

Kuy Teav (Cambodian Rice Noodle Soup)

3 lb pork neck
2 teaspoons dried shrimp
2 teaspoons fish sauce
3 hard-boiled eggs , quartered
1 lb rice noodles
1 lb ground pork
3 teaspoons rice wine
3 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 lb raw shrimp , peeled and deveined
Salt
Kampot white pepper
Garnish
2 handfuls bean sprouts
1/2 bunch cilantro , chopped
4 scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon fish sauce
3 teaspoons Sriracha chili sauce (or more, to taste)
2 limes, quartered

In a saucepan over high heat, boil the pork necks for 10 minutes after reaching boiling point.

Drain and discard the cooking water.

Put the pig’s necks back in the pot and fill with enough water to cover the bones by at least 2 inches.

Add the dried shrimp and mix.

Simmer on low heat for 3 hours, until the meat comes off the bones.

Slowly skim all the foam that forms on the surface of the broth. Add boiling water to maintain the same level, if necessary.

Remove the necks from the broth using a skimmer and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Remove the meat from the bones and set aside.

Add the fish sauce to the broth and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Simmer the broth over low heat while the rest of the recipe is prepared.

Bring a large pan of water to a boil, cook the noodles for 30 seconds, drain and rinse immediately with cold water.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the minced pork and mix well. (Crush the ground meat as you cook with a mashed press).

Add rice wine, soy sauce and honey. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly.

Add the pork neck meat and the sesame oil, mix and reserve.
Bring the broth to a boil over a high heat.

Place the shrimp in a metal colander and immerse it in the pot to cook the shrimp for 10 minutes in the simmering broth.

Remove the colander, drain and reserve the shrimp.

Divide the noodles into 4 large bowls.

Add the shrimp, pork, and a little of each topping to each bowl: soy sprouts, chopped cilantro, chopped scallions, fish lsauce, Sriracha chili sauce, lemons)

Pour the broth into each bowl and place pieces of hard-boiled egg on top. Serve very hot with additional toppings on the side.

Singapore Chili Sauce

2 or 3 large red chiles, such as Fresno, cayenne, or long chile, coarsely chopped
2 or 3 hot Thai chiles, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1-1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon hot chicken poaching broth

Put all of the ingredients into a small electric mini chopper and process to a semi-coarse sauce. Transfer to a dipping sauce dish.

Pork and Galangal

2 Pounds Pork
5 Tablepoons Chopped Garlic
5 Tablepoons Fresh Galangal, Julienned
5 Tablepoons Coriander/Cilantro (leaves and stems), chopped
Sweet soy sauce (see method)
2 Tablepoons Palm Sugar
Light soy sauce to taste
3 Pieces Star Anise

Cut the pork into chunks the size of a small fist. Grill or barbeque or braise them to seal the meat and crisp the outsides.

Finely chop the garlic, and other ingredients (except the star anise and soy sauces) in amortar and pestle, so they are easily integrated into the gravy.

Put the other ingredients in a large pot, add the pork, then add enough pork stock to cover the meat, and then add enough dark soy to produce a rich coloration.

Bring to a boil, and boil for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to a light simmer, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Taste and add sugar or light soy to adjust the flavor. Continue to simmer until the meat is tender enough to fall apart when probed with a chop stick (about 45 minutes). Add additional stock if the pot begins to dry out, but allow the sauce to reduce to a thickish gravy. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

Transfer to a large serving dish and serve with Thai jasmine rice (warn the unwary not to eat the star anise!)

Note: the pot should be large enough that when the ingredients and stock are assembled at the start of boiling the pot is about half full to prevent it boiling over.

This is probably the Thai equivalent of nyonya pork.

Char Kway Teow

8 ounces (250 grams) dried wide rice noodles or 1 pound fresh rice noodles
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons regular soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 Chinese sausages (about 115 grams), sliced ? inch thick
2 cloves garlic, sliced
4 ounces (115 grams) shrimp (31 to 40 size)
4 ounces (115 grams) fish cake or fish tofu, thinly sliced
4 ounces (115 grams) garlic chives, cut into 2 ½-inch pieces
1 tablespoon shaoxing wine (optional)
1 egg, lightly beaten
6 ounces (172 grams) mung bean sprouts

Soak the dried noodles in warm water for 30 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a colander and let the excess water drain. If you have fresh rice noodles, cut them into 1½-inch wide strips, and set them aside.

Add 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce, 2 tablespoons regular soy sauce, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, 1 teaspoon shrimp paste, 1 tablespoon oyster sauce, ? teaspoon ground white pepper, and 1 teaspoon sugar in a small bowl. Mix until combined, and set aside.
Heat your wok to medium heat, and spread 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil around the perimeter of your wok. Add the sliced Chinese sausages and stir-fry for 20 seconds.

Add the 2 cloves of sliced garlic, the shrimp, and the fish tofu. Continue stir-frying for another 20 seconds.

Now, turn the wok to high heat. Spread 1 tablespoon shaoxing wine around the perimeter of the wok.

Stir-fry for another 15 seconds. Add the noodles. Gently fold them into the rest of the ingredients. Gather everything in the middle of the wok to let the sides of the wok superheat. Pour ithe sauce mixture evenly over the noodles, and spread another tablespoon of vegetable oil around the perimeter of the wok.

Next, add the garlic chives. Gently mix the noodles (to minimize breakage) while spreading them around the perimeter of the wok to get that wok hay sear from the superheated sides of the wok. Because of the hot wok and the oil, the rice noodles shouldn’t stick.

While the noodles are searing, work quickly to create a space at the bottom of the wok and add the last tablespoon of oil with the slightly beaten egg. Stir the egg around for 15 seconds to cook it and break it up. You may want to pre-cook the egg the first time if you are more of a beginner cook!
Next add the mung bean sprouts and gently mix everything together for 1 minute.

If your Char Kway Teow looks dry, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of water over the noodles while stir-frying. You can also add a bit more vegetable oil if you like. Serve your Char Kway teow with chlli garlic paste or homemade chili oil on the side.

Cambodian Beef Curry

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced crosswise
1 cup Csmbodian yellow curry paste
2 lb. boneless beef chuck, cut into 2-inch pieces
3 cups unsweetened coconut milk
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cooked white rice, for serving
Lotus leaves, for serving (optional)
1/4 cup roughly chopped roasted peanuts

In a small saucepan, bring the oil and shallot to a simmer over medium heat, and cook, stirring, until the shallot is golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, lift the shallot from the oil and drain on paper towels. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the oil and discard the rest.

In a large saucepan, heat the reserved oil over medium. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant and beginning to caramelize, about 2 minutes. Stir in the beef and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally to keep anything from burning on the bottom of the pan, until the beef is tender and the sauce has reduced and thickened, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and season the curry with salt and pepper.

Serve the curry over cooked rice in a lotus leaf, if you like, or in a large bowl. Garnish with the fried shallot and peanuts.

Kroeung (Cambodian Curry Paste)

6 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 1?2 tbsp. prahok
18 kaffir lime leaves, stems removed and sliced into very thin ribbons
12 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
8 shallots, roughly chopped
6 stalks lemongrass, inner cores only, roughly chopped
1 (4-inch) piece fresh galangal, peeled and thinly sliced
1 (4-inch) piece fresh turmeric, peeled and thinly sliced

In a wok or large skillet, heat the oil over medium. In a large bowl, mix the prahok with the kaffir lime leaves, garlic, shallots, lemongrass, galangal, and turmeric. Scrape the aromatics into the wok and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the ingredients are soft and beginning to lightly brown, about 14 minutes.

Scrape the ingredients into a food processor and let cool completely. Process the ingredients into a lightly chunky paste, stopping the machine to scrape down the sides of the food processor as you go, and then scrape the curry paste into a container.

Seal the container and store the curry paste in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Cambodian Beef Kabobs

6 stalks lemongrass, tough outer layers removed, soft inner cores thinly sliced
6 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and minced
1 tsp. ground turmeric
3 lb. beef chuck, cut into 1?2-inch pieces
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp. honey
6 tbsp. vegetable oil
6 tbsp. fish sauce
6 tbsp. oyster sauce
1 1/2 tbsp. sweet paprika
Wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes

In a food processor, combine the lemongrass with the lime leaves, garlic, shallots, ginger, and turmeric, and pulse until a smooth paste forms.

Scrape the paste into a large bowl, and add the beef, honey, oil, fish sauce, oyster sauce, and paprika.

Toss the beef until evenly coated in sauce, and then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Light a grill. Thread the beef onto wooden skewers, and then grill, turning as needed, until charred and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve while hot.

Lao Soop Pak

1 C Chinese cabbage, cut in small, loose leaf pieces 7 cm (2 – 3in)
1 C cauliflower flowerets (or other white vegetable)
3 fingers sized amount of bamboo shoots, pre-cooked, finely sliced (optional)
3 long beans, cut into 4 cm (1½ in) pieces (or 10 green beans)
1 bunch sawtooth herb, three fingers-width, tailed and cut in half (or coriander leaves)
1/2 – 1 C collard greens (or bok choi ), cut in 4 cm (1½ in) pieces
2 – 3 stems dill, cut into 4 cm (1½ in) lengths
2 very large or 4 medium oyster mushrooms, torn in 1 – 2 cm (½ in) wide shreds
1 large bowlful water with 1 teaspoon of salt for refreshing vegetables
1/2 large head garlic, strung on toothpicks or satay sticks for grilling
3 or more red chillies (amount to taste or omit), strung on toothpicks for grilling
2 thin slices galangal or ginger
2 T to 1/3 C sesame seeds, dry roasted. A mixture of white and black seeds is desirable, although white alone is fine.
2 T soy sauce, padek or fish sauce (or to taste)
8 C water

Method

Prepare the vegetables as described, placing the readied ones in a large bowl. Add water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Rinse vegetables in the brine, picking off any wilting pieces. Let soak briefly.

Put fresh water into the bottom of a steamer or a sticky rice pot and bring to the boil.

Toast the sesame seeds. Place in a mortar. Pound until most of the seeds are broken. Remove and set aside.

When the water comes to the boil, tip the vegetables into the steamer, allow them to drain and then place the steamer over the boiling water. Steam for 10 – 15 minutes depending on preferred crispness.

Roast the garlic and chillies. Cool. Remove their charred skins. Add the peeled garlic, chillies and galangal/ ginger to the mortar. Pound until a paste forms. Adding a dash of salt helps the blending.

When the vegetables are ready, toss them briefly in the steamer to expel the steam. Invert the steamer over a low-sided, wide bowl. Let the vegetables cool. Sprinkle them with the pounded sesame seeds and the pounded galangal/ginger and garlic paste. Add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. Gently use your hands to mix the ingredients together well. Taste and adjust with sauce if needed.

Turn into a serving bowl, garnish with coriander and serve as part of a Lao meal. This dish goes well with sticky rice or can be used as a picnic dish.

Luang Prabang Watercress Salad

Salad

1 large bunch watercress (or 1 cup Chinese or regular celery leaves or 1 cup rocket)
4 eggs, hard-boiled, whites only; reserve the yolks for the dressing
2 C mesclun using whatever greens are available
1/2 C coriander leaves
1/2 C mint leaves
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
10 cherry tomatoes or 2 medium tomatoes

Dressing

1/3 C light oil
4 T garlic, chopped
4 egg yolks, chopped
3 T sugar
2 T fish sauce
2 T soy sauce
4 T lime juice

To finish

1/4 C dry-fried peanuts, chopped

Method

Heat a wok or pan and dry fry the peanuts. Set the nuts aside to cool. When cool, chop.

Heat the oil on a medium heat. Add the chopped garlic and fry until golden brown, stirring frequently so it does not burn (about 2 minutes).

While the garlic is frying, mix together the chopped egg yolks, sugar, fish sauce and soy sauce in a deep bowl or screw-top jar. When the garlic is ready, remove it from the heat and cool. Add the garlic and its cooking oil to the mixture. Whisk or shake to blend well.

Add the lime juice and mix. Taste and adjust the sugar and lime juice.

Wash the watercress thoroughly in clean water; drain and discard any thick stems. Cut cherry tomatoes in halves. If using larger tomatoes, cut into wedges about 1 cm (½ in) thick at the widest part.

Assemble the salad on a large, flat plate or in a bowl by forming a bed of watercress which is topped with the other herbs and leaves, tomatoes and sliced egg whites in a nice pattern. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and sprinkle the chopped peanuts over the whole. Serve the salad immediately, as it will quickly wilt.

Variations

For a sweeter version, reduce the lime juice; for a sourer version, increase the lime juice. Do not reduce the sugar amount. Equal or other sugar substitute may be used as a replacement sweetener.

The number of eggs can be reduced to 2 or 3. The dressing will be thinner.

Save any remaining dressing in a screw-top jar and refrigerate for later use.

Jeow Bong (Luang Prabang Chili Sauce)

3 large heads of garlic (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup shallots
1 thumb-size piece of galangal chopped into small pieces
1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt
1 – 2 tablespoons dark red, roasted chilli flakes
2 teaspoons palm sugar
Water or fish sauce to thin, if needed

Roast or grill the garlic and shallots until cooked through. Meanwhile, in a mortar pound the galangal.

Peel the garlic cloves and shallots, add to the mortar along with the salt and pound to a paste. Stir in the chilli flakes. Add the sugar and pound to mix. Taste and add water, fish sauce (or soy sauce for vegetarians) or more chilli flakes.

Transfer the mixture to a small frying pan and dry fry on a very low heat for 10 minutes until rich, dark and aromatic. The flavour develops over time.

Khao Soi Meat Sauce (Lao Pork Sauce) for Soup

4 big cloves garlic
1 cup fermented soybean paste (actually 3 heaped Chinese soup spoons)
3 – 4 tablespoons (actually 2 heaped Chinese soup spoons) mild chilli powder, brightly coloured – not from bird’s eye chillies
3 – 4 tablespoons (actually 2 heaped Chinese soup spoons) coarser dried chilli flakes
750 g fatty pork such as belly pork, minced (3 big handfuls when minced), or a mix of pork and beef which is evidently especially delicious.
1 cup palm oil (or other vegetable oil, but not coconut, mustard or olive oil)
Salt to taste
MSG to personal taste
2 tomatoes, sliced in small wedges

Put the garlic cloves and ½ teaspoon of salt in a mortar and pound for a minute.

In a hot wok or frying pan, add the cup of oil. When heated, slip in the garlic mixture and fry while moving it about until the garlic is browned. Before it burns (!!), add about 1 cup of tua nao paste and stir to mix. Continue to fry together until the oil returns.

Add the two types of chilli and keep on frying, while moving the sauce around the pan.

Add the tomato slices and stir fry until the moisture comes out. The paste is ready when it smells good and the tomato has started disintegrating.

Add the minced pork, 2 teaspoons more salt (or to taste) and 1 – 2 tablespoons of MSG. (Remember, this is a very concentrated sauce expected to last a few days refrigerated (hence the oil, salt and pork fat) and to serve many people).

Keep on frying until the meat is thoroughly cooked then thin with water to a thick Western savory mince consistency. Then, um, add another tablespoon of MSG and stir to mix in. Continue to cook until the oil returns again and then transfer to a deep bowl to cool. In the cold, the fat in the sauce will solidify. It is the oil, chilli and reduced water content that preserves the sauce.

For soup:

Rice noodles

250 g pork bits

Half a pot of water (2 – 4 litres depending on how many people you have to feed, ours fed four with plenty left over. Don’t worry about the quantity because all the flavour comes from the sauce and condiments added later. This bland soup is to heat the noodles and cook the pork which is added to the dish when serving.)

Bring the water to the boil. Add the slices of fatty pork. Simmer away while preparing the accompaniments until the meat is cooked.

Accompaniments and garnish:

Finely chopped or sliced spring onions and coriander leaves, 1 tablespoon for each bowl being served

Pea or soy bean tendrils (or Chinese flowering cabbage), raw or blanched, to your taste

Lettuce, fresh

Coriander (cilantro), smallest you can get, roots removed, fresh

MSG or Soy sauce

lime wedges or juice

crunchy and feather-light beef rinds

Put two thirds of a bowl of noodles in each bowl and top it up with the boiling stock.

Add the pork, a good hit of the meat sauce (1 very heaped Chinese spoonful, 3 – 4 level tablespoons) and sprinkle over the chopped spring onion and coriander.

Each bowl is served piping hot and ready to doctor with any or all of the condiments and additional spicy meat sauce.

Tai Neua Jaew (Laotian Ginger, Garlic, and Soybean Paste)

1 knob ginger, the size of three fingers
6 big garlic cloves
15 small dried chillies, not bird’s eye chillies
3 – 4 tablespoons (2 rounded Chinese soup spoons) fermented tua nao paste or substitute such as miso or Korean fermented bean paste
3 tablespoons raw cane sugar
1 tablespoon MSG
Salt, added depending on the saltiness of the khao soi paste

Pound the garlic in a mortar with half a teaspoon of salt for a minute and then add the ginger. When the paste is well integrated and squishy, remove it to a bowl and set aside.

String the chillies on a skewer and roast over the fire or gas flame or under an electric grill until semi blackened but not immolated. Deskewer into the empty mortar and pound until well mixed and broken up.

Then add thefermented bean paste and pound again. Put the ginger and the garlic paste back into mortar, pound a bit and add the sugar and MSG until all is well mixed. Taste and adjust the levels of salt, sugar and MSG to suit your own taste.