Based on a Thai recipe called Mah Hor, which translates to Galloping Horses, these small bites are salty, sweet and crunchy. If you don’t wish to use pineapple, spoon the mixture into baby cos lettuce leaves or onto rounds of telegraph cucumber.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
300 grams pork mince
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons very finely chopped coriander root or stalk
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ cup grated palm sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon peanut butter, crunchy or smooth
1-2 tablespoons lime juice
1 pineapple, peeled and quartered
1 long red chilli, thinly sliced
small coriander leaves
Heat the oil in a sauté pan and cook the onion with a pinch of salt until very soft.
Increase the heat and add the mince. Cook, breaking up the lumps with a wooden spoon, until cooked through. Add the soy sauce and continue to cook over a high heat, stirring constantly, until the pork is dark and well caramelized in the soy. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and set aside. Don’t wash the pan.
Add a little more oil to the pan and fry the garlic, coriander and black pepper for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the palm sugar, fish sauce and peanut butter and cook until the sugar has melted and the mixture becomes very thick and sticky, stirring constantly. Add the pork mixture back to the pan, combine well and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the lime juice and take off the heat. If there are still largish lumps of meat, use a fork to break them up, otherwise it will be difficult to place on top of the pineapple.
To assemble: Cut the tough core out of the pineapple, then cut into 2 cm squares, trimming so the sides are flat. Place on serving platters and top with a teaspoon of the just warm pork mixture. Garnish with a slice of chilli and coriander leaf and squeeze over a drop of lime juice just before serving. Makes 36 pieces