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Print this Recipe    Tom Yam Mu Pa (Hot and Spicy Wild Boar Soup)

Description:

There is a show on Thai TV every week called "Yam Yai" in which a
distinguished food writer, who also edits the Shell Guide to Thailand (an
excellent source but unfortunately only available in Thai), visits a
different restaurant each week. The show specializes in the small
restaurant/food shop style of business that abounds in Thailand in which
the owner is the chef and the family help out. The show generally
features a demonstration of the preparation of one or two of the business'
signature dishes, though as no detailed recipe is provided it is often
difficult to reproduce the dishes shown.

This week the main dish prepared was tom yam pla (fish soup), and I
watched as the chef, preparing a soup for one diner, placed two handfuls
of chilies on the board, chopped them, then after cooking the soup added
a handful of dried chilies as garnish. I was still gasping as the
presenter added some nam pla prik (chilies in fish sauce) to make the dish
still hotter!

The preparation also differed from the norm of today in that it didn't
include any nam prik pao (the roasted chilies in bean oil that is often
called tom yam sauce). This, in fact, is the traditional preparation of
this soup, and it is quick and easy to do. It can be made (as on the TV
show) with fish, or as here with pork, or indeed with most meats, poultry,
or vegetables.

Note that I do sincerely advice caution about the amount of chili in this
recipe. It is phet makh mah ("very hot") as the Thais say, though this
preparation (as an accompaniment for a dinner for 4 people) is not quite
as hot as that on the TV. The main reason we made it with 'forest pig'
was that a friend donated one to us recently that had been predating his
sugar cane plantation.

Ingredients:

2 cups stock
1 cup pork
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 cup prik ki nu (bird's-eye chilies), chopped
1/2 cup kratiem (garlic), chopped
1/2 cup prik haeng (dried red bird's-eye chilies)
2 stalks takhrai (lemongrass), thinly sliced

Method:

Trim the fat from the pork, and slice it into 1/8-inch-thick slices
diagonally to the grain of the meat, then cut the slices into bite sized
pieces.

Crush the garlic with the side of a cleaver, discard loose pieces of skin,
and then chop coarsely.

Crush the fresh chilies with the side of a cleaver and coarsely chop.

Slice the mushrooms, and then bruise the lemongrass with the cleaver and
slice it (either into 1" pieces if you intend to discard it or very thin
slices if you intend to eat it).

Place the meat in a saucepan or wok, over medium heat, and briefly stir
fry, then add the stock and bring to a simmer. Add the chopped chilies
and garlic and simmer, covered, until the meat is tender. Add the
mushrooms and heat through for about 1 minute.

Serving & Storage:

Transfer to a serving bowl and add the dried chilies. Garnish if desired
with basil, coriander/cilantro, and mint leaves.

Serves 2 as a soup course or 4 as an accompaniment to a meal.

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