I set about making this Minced Pork & Thai Basil Stir Fry after a recent visit to the Harvest Markets in Launceston.  I bought some incredible produce including some really good pasture raised, free range pork in various cuts, the most incredible veggies and salad items, the freshest garlic and a heap of fresh basil, Thai Basil & other Asian herbs.  We often do this when we arrive in Tassie and whatever we purchase determines our menu for the following week or so.  The beauty of buying from the markets is the longevity of the produce, not to mention the nutritional value and best of all……the flavour.  I don’t think most people have tasted produce like it, carrots that taste like the sweetest carrot you’ve ever experienced.  The creamiest and tastiest potatoes, the sweetest and fleshiest tomatoes…..the list goes on.

Anywhoooo……I’ll get on with the recipe for this Minced Pork & Thai Basil Stir Fry that I paired with Jasmine Rice and a small salad, topped with a carrot pickle and fresh Asian herbs.  This added a beautiful, fresh element to a really simple dish that became a perfectly balanced meal.  Easy and delicious!

Prep time:  30  Minutes

Cooking time:  20 Minutes

$$  Medium Budget

Serves 4

Ingredients for the Pork Mince & Thai Basil Stir Fry:

Peanut oil for frying

800gm of pork mince (preferably free range)

1 lemon grass stalk, roughly chopped

1 red chilli, roughly chopped

2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

4cm piece of ginger, peeled & roughly chopped

4 spring onions, sliced (dark green ends reserved for garnish)

1 bunch of Thai basil, leaves removed and stalks discarded

2 tbs of fish sauce

2 tbs of soy sauce

2 tbs of oyster sauce

1 tbs of rice wine vinegar

Juice of 1 lime

2 tsp of brown sugar

Ingredients for the salad, pickle & garnish:

1 butter lettuce, leaves picked and washed

1 Lebanese cucumber, thinly sliced

4 radishes, thinly sliced

1 large carrot, peeled and finely julienned (you can buy peelers for this, very handy)

1 tbs of fish sauce

1 tbs of rice wine vinegar

1tbs of caster sugar

1/2 tsp of chilli powder (optional)

Assorted Asian herbs, leaves picked (optional but I used Thai Basil, Coriander & Vietnamese mint)

Spring onion tops, sliced on the diagonal nice and thinly

Steamed Jasmine rice, to serve

Granulated peanuts for sprinkling

To make the Minced Pork & Thai Basil Stir Fry, start by placing the herbs & spring onion for garnish in a bowl of iced water, this will make them nice and crisp.

Place the fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, chilli powder and caster sugar in a small mixing bowl and whisk until the sugar has dissolved.  Toss the julienned carrot through the pickling dressing and set aside.

Place the lettuce leaves, cucumber and radish slices in serving bowls, ready for the rice and minced pork & Thai basil stir fry.

Pop your rice on to cook and while it is cooking, heat a wok or large frying pan and add a little peanut oil.  When the wok or pan is nice and hot, cook your pork mince until nicely browned.  Drain off any liquid and set it aside.

Mix the fish sauce, soy, oyster sauce, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar & lime juice together, ready to pour over the Minced pork.  Reheat the wok and add a little more oil.  Fry the ginger, garlic, lemongrass & chilli for a minute and then add the spring onion.  Fry for a further minute or so then add the mince back to the wok, along with the sauce mixture.  Toss well so that it is all covered in the sauce and then throw in the whole Thai Basil leaves.  Continue to toss until they have just wilted.

Place steamed rice in the serving bowls with the salad, I tend to spoon the rice into ramekins and invert onto the dish, it looks nice and tidy.  Divide the pork mixture between the bowls and place a nice pile of the carrot pickle on top.  Drain the herbs for garnish and pile them on the very top with a good sprinkling of peanuts.  Serve with a wedge of lime…….

We used the lettuce leaves to wrap the pork and rice with a little pickle……absolutely delicious!