Sunday, September 6, 2009

Thai Basil Claypot Rice

Moo Paht Bai Graprao--Pork Fried with Basil is one of my favorite Thai dishes. I also like the basil fried with chicken or shrimp. It's a comforting dish that comes together quickly. Many times when I don't have anything specific in mind for dinner I'll to a quick stir-fry with basil. It's something that comes together in a few minutes and makes a great leftover to bring to school the next day.

I'm also fond of claypot rice. My wife makes a version her mother made with minced pork, garlic and choy sum which I like very much but which she keeps as a closely guarded secret. Like the stir fried basil dishes, claypot rice is a dish that comes together easily and makes great leftovers.

Since I couldn't get my wife to part with her mother's recipe, I decided to do a mash-up of Thai basil pork and claypot rice with mushrooms. While I don't think it's quite as tasty as my wife's claypot rice, it was delicious, quick and comforting. A great one-dish main for a busy school night.

Thai Basil Claypot Rice

12 ounces pork, diced (you could easily substitute boned, skinless chicken thighs)
8--12 dried shitake mushrooms, soaked in water 30 minutes, diced
2 shallots, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
2--4 thai chilies, thinly sliced or minced
2 TBS fish sauce
1 TBS kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
1 TBS water
2 cups rice
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup Thai basil

Mix the pork, mushrooms, shallots, garlic, ginger, chilies, fish sauce, kecap manis and water. Marinate for at least 15 minutes.
Put rice in claypot. Stir in chicken broth and bring to boil. After a minute or two of boiling, place pork mixture on top of rice, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked. Add the basil leaves and stir the meat and basil into the rice. Remove the claypot from the heat and let the rice stand for five minutes or longer before serving.
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