Khmer Pork with Yard-Long Beans

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With the exception of bacon, I really don’t cook with pork very often.  It’s a shame because it’s so versatile… just like that other white meat (i.e., chicken).  I guess I have the blog to thank for making me be more adventurous with pork.  There were some great curried jerk pork chops with mango salsa when I was cooking my way through Jamaica and some incredible pork tenderloin from my time in the Basque Country.  I still dream about that pan sauce… so so good.

And once again, pork doesn’t disappoint in this Khmer dish that combines thin slices of pork with yard-long beans.  The recipe is quite mild and easy to prepare, but it still packs a whole lot of flavor due to the addition of fish sauce.  Never cooked with fish sauce before?  It’s smelly, it’s funky, it’s wonderful.  Although I lived twenty-something years of my life without it, it’s become an absolute staple in my kitchen.  I think you’ll love it too.

Khmer Pork with Yard-Long Beans

Yield: 2-3 servings

Ingredients:

* 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
* 6 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 red chile pepper, seeded and minced (I used a seeded red Jalapeno)
* 1/2 pound lean, boneless pork, thinly sliced across the grain
* 1 teaspoon palm sugar (can substitute brown or white sugar)
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 Tablespoon fish sauce
* 1/2 pound yard-long beans, ends trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
* 1/4 cup water
* chopped cilantro

Directions:

In a large skillet or wok heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic begins to brown. Add the minced chile pepper and cook another minute.

Add the pork, palm sugar, and salty and stir fry until all of the pork has turned from pink to white. Add the fish sauce and the beans and cook for another two minutes. Add the water, bring to a simmer and let cook until the beans are tender crisp and the pork is cooked through, about 3-5 minutes.

Remove from heat, and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with rice.

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