A quick and tasty dish from the hot mouth of the dragon with only three ingredients! Flowering Chives, Pork Liver and Garlic.
Flowering Chives are all year round favorites for their mild garlicky flavor, and can be purchased inexpensively at almost any Asian market.
In Thailand we like to fry them with pork, pork liver or shrimp. These flowering chives are actually the unopened bud stems of garlic chives, also known as Chinese chives.
Cured pork is made by fermenting a mixture pork meat, cooked pork skin julienne, salt, garlic and cooked sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves. During the summer we leave the wraps unrefrigerated until a rich savory and slightly sour flavor develops. This method of preserving meat goes back to the days before refrigeration was widely used.
In this Northern style recipe I use homemade cured pork, though any commercial product from your local Asian store will do just fine.
Here is a dish with a modest name that has been part of Thai culture for at least couple of hundred years. Traditionally Thai salads are divided into three main categories based on the dressing type. The most popular salads are those with with clear dressings made of lime juice, fish sauce, crushed chilies and a touch of sugar.
A friend and a colleague, who used to live on a boat for 10 years in the British Virgin Islands, told me recently, that they had lots of tamarind trees over there and how much she loves the sauces and jellies made from tamarind.
In Thai cooking we love tamarind as well. anyone who is familiar with Thai cuisine knows that it is built on three basic tastes: Sour, salty and sweet. A sauce made from tamarind simmered with palm sugar and fish sauce is made to combine sweetness, sourness and saltiness into the old fashioned and still very popular “saam roht” or “three flavors” tamarind sauce. The sauce is poured over fish or shrimps.
To the dish success, as important as the “three flavors” are the chilies heat from roasted chili paste and the crisp & crunchy texture of the fried fish skin and its firm somewhat sweet meat.
Pad Thai is being sold all over the kingdom of Thailand and abroad. Variations to this dish are probably as many as the restaurants and food stalls that sell it. Here is a luxurious, well balanced and tasty version of this all time favorite, the famous Pad Thai Noodles.
The tastes here are sweet, sour, salty and spicy in that order, with an edge of freshly squeezed lime just before eating.