"This is my version of a traditional Thai dish called lon, but I called it nachos," says Tikaram. "Still served with raw cucumber and cabbage, I've also incorporated cassava crackers for crunch, and with nachos people know exactly what to do. I use pork in this recipe although you could substitute chicken or even add chopped prawns if you like. Either way, it must be eaten with a cold beer."
- For deep-frying: vegetable oil
- 150 gm cassava crackers (see note)
- 20 gm ginger, coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 500 gm coarsely minced pork neck
- 1 litre (4 cups) coconut cream
- 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock
- 60 ml (¼ cup) Thai yellow soy bean paste (see note)
- 60 ml (¼ cup) fish sauce
- 50 gm (2 tbsp) tamarind paste (see note)
- 1 tbsp grated soft palm sugar
- Pinch of roasted chilli powder or chilli flakes
- To serve: thinly sliced lemongrass, long red chilli, red shallot and kaffir lime leaves, coriander and lime wedges
- 2 Lebanese cucumbers, thickly sliced diagonally
- 1Heat oil in a wok or deep saucepan to 180C. Deep-fry cassava crackers, two or three at a time, turning once, until puffed, golden and crisp (20-30 seconds). Drain on paper towels and cool to room temperature.
- 2Pound ginger and garlic with a mortar and pestle to a fine paste (1-2 minutes). Heat coconut oil in a saucepan or large wok over high heat, add ginger-garlic paste and stir-fry until golden brown and fragrant (30-40 seconds). Add pork and stir-fry until just cooked through (2-3 minutes). Add coconut cream, stock and soy bean paste and simmer until liquid is almost reduced and pork is tender (25-30 minutes), then season to taste with fish sauce, tamarind, palm sugar and chilli powder – the lon should taste salty, sour, slightly sweet and creamy. Scatter with lemongrass, chilli, shallot and kaffir lime leaves, and serve hot with coriander, lime wedges and cucumber.
Note Cassava crackers, Thai yellow soy bean paste and tamarind paste are available from Asian grocers.
Drink Suggestion: A light Mexican or Asian beer, such as Corona, Asahi or Singha. Drink suggestion by Louis Tikaram