LOOKING FOR IDEAS FOR WHAT TO DO WITH THE REST OF A ROAST PORK? Try this tasty Thai pork rissole recipe.
I roasted a delicious piece of pork at the weekend for my husband Rich and our friend Will who had come over from Tanzania to stay with us. Even after the boys had re-filled their plates with second helpings, we still had over half the roast pork left, so I wanted to create something tasty out of the pork leftovers.
When I was younger, I remember my father making rissoles with leftover roast beef or lamb from a Sunday lunch. Rissoles are little fried patties of minced up meat and spices, and they are a great way to use up cooked meat from a roast dinner. A traditional rissole recipe would involve meat, onion, egg, breadcrumbs, and parsley, but feeling inspired by the recent Masterchef episode in Thailand, I decided I wanted to be a bit different and try to make Thai rissoles with the leftover pork.
I couldn’t find a Thai rissole recipe I liked the look of, so I just starting throwing things together in the kitchen as a bit of an experiment, which thankfully was a success. I used coconut cream and a bit of flour instead of an egg to hold them together. I scribbled down what I was doing as I went along, so hopefully I haven’t forgotten anything, but this recipe may have small modifications the next time I do it!
Ingredients (makes 6-8 rissoles which is enough for 3-4 people)
350g pre-cooked roast pork. If your roast pork was marinated (mine had been cooked with honey and mustard), you might want to thinly slice off the edges so that the flavours don’t muddle up the Thai spices
1 large onion, peeled
Fresh ginger (a piece about 2.5cm long and 2cm across, peeled)
Thai red curry paste
1 x 50g sachet creamed coconut*
1 x 200ml carton coconut cream (not coconut milk)*
1 good-sized bunch of coriander, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime
3 carrots, peeled
Sweet chilli sauce
* Just to be clear on what I mean by the different types of coconut- creamed coconut is the very hard, waxy kind of coconut that comes in small sachets and is usually mixed with some sort of fluid; coconut cream is a thick, semi-fluid type of coconut (about the consistency of tomato puree); coconut milk (not used in this recipe) is the runniest type that can be easily poured.
- Put the onion and the ginger in a food processor and blend with a teaspoon of water until it makes a paste.
- In a large non-stick frying pan or similar non-stick pan with a large flat base, heat a little vegetable oil. Add the onion and ginger, and about three teaspoons of Thai red curry paste.
- Crumble the sachet of creamed coconut into the pan. Then over a medium heat, gently cook the mixture, squashing the lumps of coconut with the side of a wooden spoon until they are all melted and mixed into the onions and ginger. Cook until the onion is soft, the curry paste smells fragrant and the coconut is all mixed in (about 5 minutes). Remove from the heat.
- If your roast pork was marinated, slice off a wafer thin layer to get rid of the marinade flavour so that it doesn’t interfere with the Thai spices. Chop off any bits that look fatty or nasty, and slice the meat into thick chunks. Pop the pork in a food mixer until it is finely minced.
- Put the minced pork and the cooked onion mixture in a big bowl. Finely dice one of the carrots and add this to the bowl. Add about 3/4 of the chopped coriander and the juice of the lime.
- Add about 50ml of coconut cream to the ingredients in the bowl along with 1 flat tablespoon of plain flour, 1 flat desert spoon of sugar, and a good sprinkle of salt. Mix well with your hands. You want to end up with a mixture that can be formed into neat patties that stay together. The exact amount of coconut cream you require will depend on the consistency of the cream you use, how much juice was in your lime etc, so you just need to keep adding the coconut milk a little at a time until your mixture stays together nicely. If it is too sticky, you can add a little more flour. I used exactly 100 ml of coconut cream and 1 tablespoon of flour. For the quantity of pork I used, I don’t think you would need any more than about 125ml, but it really does depend on the consistency of your ingredients.
- Once you are happy with the consistency, taste a little of the pork mixture for salt and spice (you can do this because the meat is already cooked- please don’t try this with raw pork!) If you want more spice, add another teaspoon of curry paste and mix well.
- Put your Thai rice on to boil. One small cup of uncooked rice is usually enough for 2 servings.
- Heat a little vegetable oil in the pan on a medium heat. Carefully put the rissoles in the pan. You want to give them an even golden coating on all sides without letting them fall apart, and without overcooking them. Don’t over-flip the rissoles – delicate handling is the key! I also would recommend positioning them between two utensils whilst you briefly cook the edges to give a golden colour (I didn’t, but they would have looked and tasted better if I had!)
- Meanwhile, finely chop the remaining carrots into julienne strips. Chop the cucumber into long, thin strips. Make a dressing of 2.5 tablespoons of sweet chilli sauce, 1.5 teaspoons rice vinegar, about half a teaspoon of ground ginger and the nearly all of the remaining chopped coriander. Adjust to your own taste. Toss the carrots and cucumber in the dressing.
- Drain the rice well, and then mix in the remaining coconut cream, little by little. You may not need it all as you want a rice mixture that isn’t too runny with the cream. But add as much as you can whilst keeping it relatively solid. I added about 75ml. Season with a little salt.
- Put portions of the rice into a large ramekin or small bowl and then turn out onto each plate to create neat little rice stacks. Serve the Thai rissoles against the rice, and sprinkle with a few salted peanuts and the last remaining coriander leaves. Add a pile of the sweet chilli crudités to the plate, and finish off with a little more sweet chilli sauce on the side of the plate.