I chose this recipe because of the smell. The first time I ordered this in a restaurant, the aroma that came from the kitchen was incredible! It was truly mouthwatering … and the taste turned out to be pretty fantastic too! So, I decided my first “eat with rice” dish would be one that will make your kitchen smell great and your family (or guests) think “Yum, what is that amazing thing you are cooking?!”
To prep for making this dish I had to hit up the local Saturday morning market. For the last recipe, I was able to get away with going to the local Tesco, but for this one I actually had to brave the local market to get some of the ingredients as fresh as possible. It actually turned out to be an awesome experience. Not only were all of the ingredients super cheap (I purchased one ingredient for a single baht!) but they also had absolutely everything I could possibly need for this recipe and more! Remember the Kaffir lime leaves I was struggling to find? They had them in abundance and they happened to be the ingredient I purchased for a single baht. They also had handmade chili paste, dried chillies of all colors and sizes, fresh vegetables galore, and every cut of meat a chef could ask for. I purchased everything I needed and then some, and got some great ideas for future recipes.
Once back in the kitchen and cooking, this recipe turned out to be extremely simple as well. I was a bit worried since the recipe called for adding oils, then meats, then sauces, then veggies, then more sauces. It seemed a bit complicated. However, prepping all the ingredients beforehand made for a very quick cook and ultimately a very tasty dish!
My only slight mishap? I put my new wok on the gas burner before adding any oil. The metal heats up extremely quickly and the inside of my wok started to brown up almost instantly. I had to pull it off the heat and let it cool, then add the oil, and start again. Note to self for next time, really watch your heat!!!
So, that being said, here is your next recipe! Enjoy!
Moo Pad King - Spicy Ginger Pork
- 1/2 lb. pork loin (any white meat cut), chopped (can substitute chicken breast)
- 5-6 small (2-3 large) cloves garlic (see notes)
- 2/3 cup ginger, shredded
- 1 small/medium onion, quartered and separated
- 2 cups fungus mushrooms (see notes)
- 1 group Chinese celery (see notes)
- 1/2 cup baby corn
- 2-8 small chili peppers, bruised
- 1 TBSP fish sauce
- 4 TBSP oyster sauce (or mushroom sauce)
- 2 TBSP soy sauce (optional)
- 2 TBSP palm oil (or vegetable oil or olive oil)
- Garlic: Garlic in Thailand is much smaller than in the states! If you are using normal garlic from a typical grocery store, use 2-3 cloves. If you bought small cloves from an Asian market, go for 5-6 cloves.
- Mushrooms: You can use any type of mushroom you want with this recipe! I’m using what are called elephant ear mushrooms because, well, they look like elephant ears. But honestly, use anything.
- Chinese celery: Supposedly it’s available in most Asian markets. All I could find at the store was regular celery so I’m using that. You can, too!
- Soy sauce: I don’t have it. I’ll be adding more fish sauce and sugar to make up for it.
Preparations As usual, prep is so important with Thai cooking because of how fast you move from step to step. Make sure all of your ingredients are ready before you start!
A tip: Cooking goes quickly so having your ingredients ready is key. Separate the ingredients into groups so you know what to add when!
- Plate One: These are your flavor starters. They are first into your pan and they get the flavor palate moving!
- Plate Two: Meat of choice! This goes in toward the beginning so there is time to cook!
- Plate Three: This first set of vegetables need a bit of time to cook and make for a more hearty meal.
- Plate Four: This second set of vegetables don’t need much time to cook. They are added toward the end simply to heat them up and mix them in with the dish.
- Seasonings/Sauces: You will be adding these with each of the different plates. Measure these out ahead of time if you don’t know the ingredients and amounts well enough to quickly measure during cooking.
How to prep the ingredients:
- Meat: Cut pieces that are thin. Cubed pieces may not cook thoroughly.
- Garlic: Cut off ends; remove outside layer (if you want), chop.
- Ginger: Feel free to use a cheese grater/shredder or purchase pre-shredded from the store.
- Onion: Quarter and separate the layers.
- Mushrooms, celery, baby corn: Chop into smaller pieces. Remember, thinner pieces cook better.
- Chili peppers: Bruise using the flat side of your knife. Push down on the chillies until they pop. The more you bruise, the spicier the dish will be!
Alright, are we ready to cook? Here we go!
1. Pour oil into a hot pan, then add garlic and chillies and cook until aromatic.
Note: These ingredients will get very aromatic! The chillies might make you cough and burn your eyes. That’s what’s supposed to happen! I recommend opening a window
2. Add pork (or whatever meat you choose), fish sauce, and soy sauce. Allow to cook thoroughly, stirring frequently.
Note: If the pan begins to get dry, do not add more oil! Add a little bit of water. The water will eventually evaporate away but the oil will stick around and ruin the recipe.
3. Add onion, mushrooms, and baby corn. Cook about two minutes.
Note: Pay attention to the onions. They are the vegetable that takes the longest to cook. When those start to look slightly translucent, move on to the next step. Do not wait until they are completely translucent and they will continue to cook as you go.
4. Add oyster sauce and mix well. Add Chinese celery and ginger, mix thoroughly for about one minute. Remove from heat.
- Too much oyster sauce will make your dish very salty! I would start by adding half the amount asked for, then taste. If you feel you need more, keep adding.
- Cooking the ginger too long will also make the dish more salty. Only keep on long enough to heat the ginger and celery up!
In my opinion, the amounts of the sauces for this recipe are a bit off. I think the amounts they provide make for a very salty dish. Here are my thoughts on amounts:
- Fish sauce: Keep the same. This seems about right.
- Oyster Sauce: Start with half, then add a bit more if needed. This is where it seems to get a bit salty.
- Soy Sauce: I didn’t use it. I also didn’t substitute for it. I think had I used it, the salt factor would have been through the roof. The choice on this one is yours though!
Also, I actually liked this with the regular celery, but I think I like it more with Chinese celery. If you can get your hands on it, it makes the recipe more authentic.
If you try this recipe, be sure to let me know how it goes! Send pictures, stories, questions, etc. I’ll be sure to post them on the site!