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Friday, August 14, 2009

Thai Lemon Grass Pork



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is one of the hundred or so dishes in my permanent recipe rotation. I've made it for years because it's fast, easy and a bit elegant. We had this at least once a month when I was working and it's still one of my go-to recipes when my world starts to wobble and threatens to leave orbit. The ingredients are no longer hard to find and you should be able to pick them up in a any well-stocked grocery store. In the unlikely event that you're in an outpost on the Sahara desert, you may feel the need to find a substitute for lemon grass. Many suggest the zest of one lemon mixed with several sprigs of cilantro will do the trick. Please don't be fooled. Lemon zest mixed with cilantro tastes like what it is and bares no resemblance to the real thing. While it won't hurt most recipes, it won't help them either. You can try frozen or reconstituted dried lemon grass, but they, too, are lacking in flavor. The closest I've come to an adequate substitute follows the recipe below, but because it requires forethought I don't use it often. If I don't have fresh lemon grass I usually bypass it and move on to the next ingredient. One drawback to this dish is the color of quickly cooked pork. It can, however, be overcome. Your meat will have better color if you sprinkle it with a quick-blending flour before browning. Served with quick cooking rice noodles, this makes a wonderful meal for the end of a hectic day.

Thai Lemon Grass Pork
...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

Ingredients:

1-1/2 pounds (2 small) pork tenderloin, trimmed
2 lemon grass stalks, finely chopped
4 scallions (white and tender green), thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper corns, coarsely cracked
Quick-blending flour (optional)
2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Black pepper to taste
1/4 cup toasted, unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped
Cilantro for garnish

Directions:
1) Slice pork, crosswise, into 1-inch pieces. Place pork in a bowl with lemon grass, scallions, salt and crushed pepper corns. Toss to mix well. Cover with clear wrap; marinate for 30 minutes before continuing.
2) Remove pork and sprinkle medallions wit flour if using. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed skillet. When almost smoking, add pork and cook until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
3) Add garlic and pepper flakes; saute until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add sugar, fish sauce and lime juice. Continue cooking for 6 minutes more, turning once, until pork is done. Season with pepper to taste. Garnish with peanuts and coarsely torn cilantro. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

Lemon Grass Substitute
6-8 mint leaves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger

Squeeze lime juice in a bowl; add sugar and stir until dissolved. Add chopped ginger and finely chopped mint leaves. Mix well.

This recipe is being linked to Designs By Gollum - Foodie Friday

50 comments :

Allie said...

Mary, this looks just delicious. I don't know how you have the energy to just bang out recipe after recipe, but each time I read your blog I just imagine how delicious all the food is!

Selba said...

Just by reading the ingredients, it really shows how delicious this pork is.

I love the smell of lemon grass, it's very easy to find it here in Indonesia. It smells so lovely :)

Haden News said...

I love lemongrass...This looks so good, thanks for sharing the recipe!

Puna said...

This looks delicious. Lemongrass is one of my favorite herbs but I normally use it with seafood or chicken. I have to try it with pork.

Mary said...

Lemongrass is impossible to find down here - fresh, frozen or dried. Sounds really good though.

LK- Healthy Delicious said...

this looks really awesome! I've been loving dishes with fish sauce lately. Good stuff!

the ungourmet said...

This is a beautiful dish! I love lemon grass but I have never cooked with it. The flavor is definitely unmistakable.

nyonya pendek melaka said...

Lemongrass is a fantastic Asian herb. Apart from using it for cooking, we have lemongrass tea sold here as well. It is said to be beneficial for curing a cough.

Debinhawaii said...

I am a huge fan of lemon grass and this looks so good with the pork--Yum!

My Little Space said...

I'll try to transform this recipe into chicken instead! Thank you for sharing and have a wonderful weekend with your grandsons! Cheers.

Katy ~ said...

LOL we are, apparently, in that outpost in the Sahara. We do not have lemon grass or Thai fish sauce. (I can remember when soy sauce first hit the shelves here!)
Your recipe does look s very very good and I would love to try it!

Donna-FFW said...

I have only used lemongrass once in soup, and enjoyed the flavor. It must be outstanding in this dish. It looks lovely.

Cathy said...

Looks like a quick and very delicious entree, Mary. Even my grocery store carries lemon grass, which I've just put on my shopping list.

pigpigscorner said...

Lovely flavours, I can imagine how tasty it is!

Katherine Aucoin said...

I love food with lemon grass, the smell puts a smile on my face. You're right Mary this does look simple and elegant.

Lisa said...

Great recipe and tips, Mary. This sound delicious! Just reading your post I can smell the wonderful aroma.

Gaby said...

I love LEMON GRASS! We make so many dishes with it at Culinary School! It is packed full of flavor, as I am sure this dish is too!

Tammy518 said...

This looks so delicious! Hubby loves Thai, so I will try to make this for him sometime.

Christi @ A Southern Life said...

Sounds yummy. I have a hard time finding lemongrass here so I just grow my own! That works well for saffron as well (and it is cheaper).

Christi

Pam said...

I love lemon grass - this recipe sounds delicious.

Lynda said...

Mary, your food is always such an inspiration & puts my efforts to shame :(

I just had to laugh when I read "In the unlikely event that you're in an outpost on the Sahara desert" ... just replace 'Sahara desert' with 'foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro' as we can't get lemon grass for love or money here but I do have dried (bought on my travels to 1st world countries !) but it just tastes like .... dry grass that one finds on the side of the road (not that I've ever tasted it !) ... so thanks for the substitute recipe, I'll give it a try sometime :) anything's better than dry grass ! (P.S. love the pics of your very handsome grandsons in the right sidebar !)

The Cooking Photographer said...

Mary I'm drooling! Printing now...

Thanks!

Poppedijne said...

Love the freshness of the lemongrass. This looks very nice.Have to try it one day!

Maria said...

I adore lemon grass, such a great flavor!

Mrs. L said...

Wow, this looks really good. Last time I looked at my local market, they didn't have lemongrass, but I may have to try to seek it out to make this.

honeysuckle said...

This sounds delicious. I have never used lemon grass. I will have to look for it in my grocery store. Thanks for the recipe and thanks for stopping by.

Terry said...

This recipe sounds wonderful. I have never used lemon grass. I think I am going to have to look at the grocery store for lemon grass and try to make this pork.

Meal Planning with Connie said...

My son would love this!!

Shirley said...

Sounds and looks delicious!

Rhonda @ Shellbelle's Tiki Hut said...

I love lemongrass, in fact a few years ago I decided to grow some. I bought a little plant and it just thrived. I dried some, simmered some in my water for sweet tea and also for rice. I was very happy and then………it just took on a mind of it's own and grew and spread out of the pot. I had to cut it back every week with hand shears and those blades are as sharp as razor blades. Needless to say, it has been banished from the yard and I am perfectly content to pay supermarket prices when I need it. lol. Lovely recipe, as usual

Grace is in my Kitchen said...

Hi Mary
Ive never even heard of lemon grass,I'll have to check our grocery store...if not I have fresh mint in my herb garden and always have ginger on hand,I can use the substitute.Thanks from a busy lady,its perfect for me.
Gracie

The Desperate Cook said...

How good your Lemon Grass Pork looks and easy, or it looks easy. Thanks

Joyce said...

I have never cooked with lemon grass before and not sure where they sell it in my area but now I will be on the lookout for it.
Joyce

Kristin said...

Thanks for your sweet comments. I actually just bought some lemongrass, reminiscant of my honeymoon. Maybe I'll actually use it now!

Amy Green (Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free) said...

I couldn't agree with you more when it comes to lemon grass. When I lived in Columbus there was a little Thai place I used to go to when I was sick - they has a soup made with lemon grass and I called it Healing Soup. I don't know what was in it but I always felt better afterward.

Thanks for stopping by my blog...it's neat so see your comments. :)

haleysuzanne said...

Pork tenderloin recipes are so satisfying and easy, aren't they? They work beautifully in the oven or the grill, and a simple spice rub or marinade is all the prep work they need. Now I have a new recipe to go into my rotation, as well. Thanks!

darnold23 said...

Thanks for sharing another beautiful and delicious (I just know) recipe. We're sharing peanut butter ideas and Elvis stories at diningwithdebbie.blogspot.com. I hope you will come join us. Or, join us for Crock Pot Wednesdays. Mister Linky will be ready for that on Tuesday.

Seams to Sew and Quilt said...

This looks very delicious. Thanks for sharing.
Vera

Connie said...

Yuuuummmmmmm, sugar! I love good food. Thank you for your visit and leaving a comment. It is much appreciated. Happy pink saturday and keep on cookin', sweetpea!
xoxo,
Connie

Judi said...

Hi Mary
It was so nice to have you come and visit me. I hope you'll be back again.

This recipe picture looks fabulous. You have a lot of recipes in use...I'd love to try them out thats for sure..*s*...

Thank you for sharing the recipe. It is elegant looking and I am definately going to add it to my collection too!

Have a great Saturday.
Judi

Lori E said...

Thanks for your visit Mary. I believe that the watermelons are the real deal and not candles. Can you see the faces of your guests when you serve that, ha.

Bunny said...

This sure looks good Mary, will have to try it. Thanks for stopping by and adding a kind comment, very sweet of you.

Mary said...

Your love of cooking is a gift to me! I don't have that gift...God gave me sewing instead, but since my husband can't eat the curtains, having someone else's tried and true recipe is my way to my man's heart! Thank you, this looks wonderful! I don't know if I've seen lemon grass, but I'll get it somehow! Mary

Oma Nijn's Country Huis said...

hallo Mary.
wat ziet dat er lekker uit vlees met pinda''s.alles wat je maakt ziet er goed uit hoor, maar kook je voor de hele fam.ik ben maar alleen en dan kook je niet meer zoveel,alleen als de kinderen er zijn,

bedankt voor het langs komen oma nijn

jeanne said...

Hello Mary, this pork recipe sounds divine. We are having company Fri. night. I think I will give this a try. These friends love pork. I have been enjoying your posts so much. One perfect post!

Hugs...Jeanne

Baking Monster said...

we have a amazing rsturant in our town called Thai Lemon Grass. Having it have the same name makes me want to try this!yum!

Blushing hostess said...

Your site is beautiful, thank you for sharing. I ate tons of lemon grass while working in Asia and I just never get around to dealing with it here, I miss it. thank you for sharing.

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Glenda said...

Wow, I'd love to try this recipe. I've recently been looking for lemon recipes lately as we have a gazillion lemons from my Mom's garden and my next lemon experiment would be this one. =)

Glenda said...

Eeek, I just realized it's lemon grass and not lemon - I must be really sleepy. Anyhow, will still keep this recipe bookmarked as it looks absolutely delicious.

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