You´re having a larp

There is a book in my cookery library that gets taken on and off the shelf from time to time,but always without me having made a recipe from it.Its beautiful dayglo magenta silk cover and magenta and lime green markers makes its luxuriant appearance irresistible, but I just can not do its 674 pages justice.I am not within satellites throw of a specialist Thai food shop, and If I was I am still not convinced that I would be unable to source some of the specialist ingredients necessary to make most of the recipes.
I am talking "Thai Food" by David Thompson.If you are not living in Thailand this book is purely academic.Where in heavens name do I find la
ngsart,assam,betel leaves,durian,fermented siamese watrcress,hydrolised lime water,long leafed coriander,white turmeric,tomalley and so the list goes ever on.The ingredients listings for each recipe are extravagant on column inches, however I took the bull by the horns and decided to have a larp.A larp is an ancient salad.There are many diverse styles of larp,but what they all seem to have in common is that the meat is minced or chopped,then cooked in the dressing,which is spicy and based on dried chillis.Sliced red shallots, shredded mint and coriander are invariable aromatic companions in a traditional Thai larp.Raw vegetables are the usual accompaniment but I found that making vessels of little gem leaves, although unorthodox, was an ideal and cool accompaniment.I had to forego the optional szechuan pepper but I still constantly craved a chilli hotness that I am ever keen on.The dish was delicious and oh so simple to prepare but at the end I felt disappointed.Perhaps this tome will remain on the bookshelf longer from now on.

Larp of Minced pork
500g pork mince
3 garlic cloves peeled
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon rendered pork fat or oil
pinch of palm sugar-optional
1-2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 red (banana ) shallots,sliced
1 tablespoon chopped spring(green) onion
1 tablespoon coriander leaves 

5 dried long red chillies,deseeded,soaked and drained
pinch of salt
5 red shallots,peeled
5 garlic cloves,peeled
2 tablespoons chopped galangal
2 tablespoons chopped lemongrass
1 tablespoon cumin seeds roasted and ground
1 teaspoon macquem or Szechuan peppercorns,roasted and ground,optional
2 long pepper,roasted and ground
1 sheath of mace,roasted and ground
5 black peppercorns,ground
5 white peppercorns ground
First make the paste: pound the ingredients together using a pestle and mortar,gradually adding one by one,until smooth.Poach the pork mince gently in some salted water until tender-about 10 minutes-perhaps using some offcuts of galangal and lemongrass from the paste.When cool drain the meat reserving the stock.Pound the garlic with the salt.Heat rendered pork fat or oil in a pan and fry the garlic until golden.Add paste and fry until the spices are fragrant.Season with sugar,if using, and fish sauce.Add the pork and moisten with a little of the reserved poaching liquid.Simmer for abvout 5 minutes,moistening further if necessary.
Add the remaining ingredients and put in a bowl on the table with a plate of little gem leaves for people to help themselves.


  1. Oh noooo, why were you disappointed. This sounds divine. Was it because it wasn't chilli-hot enough?

    I have to confess I do have a Thai supermarket near me but even they don't have half the ingredients required for a David Thompson recipe!


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