Appearing widely in our research for this dish, the following rhyme is a neat summary of Burmese cookery: ‘Of all the fruit, the mango is best; of all the meat, pork is best; and of all the leaves, lahpet’s (fermented tea leaf) the best.’ Mango is used in this pork curry to add flavour and to help tenderise the meat, while shredded green mango also makes a piquant accompaniment as a salad. Often flavoured with ground dried shrimp, shrimp paste and fish sauce, it provides a wonderfully salty-sour counterpoint to the rich pork.
- 6 cm piece ginger, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tsp shrimp paste (belachan) (see Note)
- 2 tbsp peanut oil
- 1 tbsp dried chilli flakes
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1.2 kg pork neck, cut into 4 cm-pieces
- 2 green mangoes (see Note), peeled, coarsely grated
- 1 tsp fish sauce, plus extra, to taste
- 1 litre chicken stock
- brown sugar, to taste
- steamed rice (optional) and lime wedges, to serve
Green mango salad
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 1 green mango (see Note), peeled, thinly shredded
- 3 Asian red eschalots (see Note), halved, thinly sliced
- 1 long red chilli, seeded, thinly shredded
- ½ cup firmly packed mint leaves
- ½ cup firmly packed coriander leaves
- 20 g (¼ cup) fried Asian red eschalots (see Note)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Combine ginger, garlic, onion and shrimp paste in a small food processor and process to a smooth paste.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add paste, chilli and turmeric, and stir for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add pork and stir to coat in paste, then cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until golden. Add mango and fish sauce, and stir to combine. Add stock, bring to a simmer then reduce heat to low, partially cover with a lid and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2½ hours or until pork is tender.
Remove lid and cook, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes or until sauce is reduced and thickened. Season to taste with sugar and extra fish sauce if necessary.
Meanwhile, to make green mango salad, whisk together lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and 2 teaspoons of water in a bowl until sugar dissolves. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl, add dressing, and toss to combine. Serve with pork, steamed rice and lime wedges, if desired.
• Shrimp paste (belachan), green mangoes, Asian red eschalots and fried Asian red eschalots are available from Asian food shops and select supermarkets.
Photography by Brett Stevens. Food preparation by Phoebe Wood. Styling by Justine Poole.
As seen in Feast magazine, February 2015, Issue 39. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here