Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mango Pork

Taking a detour from my planned route... I'm rating a recipe we tried last night. Not so much a recipe, but a winged culinary concoction. The wife went grocery shopping, and found banana leaves at the store. Naturally she bought a pack. Last night we made mango pork with them. For the uninitiated, banana leaves are traditionally used in Thai, Filipino, and other Asian cooking to keep meat moist. It's sort of like wrapping meat in tin foil. We had never used them before, but it's pretty easy.

In this recipe, we used pork chops (because our local grocery store only carries family packs of chicken, which is like 2 dozen breasts). We chopped up Walla Walla sweet onions, red peppers, and mangoes, then mixed those chunks with rum and mango juice. We spooned out a healthy heaping of that mixture one on banana leaf, put the pork chop on top, then put larger chunks of the veggies and fruit on top of that. Then, we wrapped one banana leaf around the food, then used another leaf going the other way. We used wooden skewers to pin the corners of the leaves closed, then baked the meat at 350 degrees. After about 40 minutes, I checked one of the packages. It was still undercooked. So we turned the heat up to 400, and left them in for another 15 minutes or so. The one I unwrapped was good, but the one whose seal was unbroken was much more moist.

I'd really recommend trying to make something with banana leaves. They give a flavor to the food you won't get with foil. Next time we'll maybe try to make a light curry or something with chicken or fish. Anybody else tried cooking with leaves?


Midge said...
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Libby said...

Look at you two being all domestic and creative! I've never cooked with banana leaves, but you've inspired me. Prior to this, my only experience with them was at Dim Sum, I would always order one dish that was wrapped in a banana leaf. Then I would use the leaf as a cover: hiding bits of things that I didn't like the taste of underneath it.

katiedid said...

A ton of Mexican recipes, mostly barbacoa-based, use banana leaves and/or avacado leaves wrapped around various meats. Especially with pig meat (cochinita pibil.) And there's always tamales! I think you can do fish in banana leaves, too, though I have no idea if that would taste good, since Jon's never had that... but it sounds like it would taste pretty good if you made with some chiles or smoked chiles.