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Sambal Minced Pork with Pasta

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20g dried chillies, soaked in hot water, and drained
200g shallots, peeled
20g belacan (shrimp paste), toasted (See the Glossary, page
180, for instructions on how to do this.)
9 candlenuts
4 tablespoons canola oil
13 cloves garlic, peeled, and finely sliced
2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed, and bruised
5 kaffir lime leaves
250g minced pork
4 tablespoons coconut milk
2 litres water
1 teaspoon of salt, plus a bit extra for seasoning to taste 500g wholewheat pasta (Any shape works, but I like spaghetti best.)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
15g sweet basil leaves, finely sliced 10g mint leaves, finely sliced


  • Put the dried chillies, shallots, shrimp paste and candlenuts into a blender and blend to a smooth paste. Set aside.
  • Heat the canola oil in a frying pan over medium heat and cook the sliced garlic till light brown and crispy—about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • In the same pan, fry the blended paste for 10 minutes. Lower the heat and add the lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves and continue cooking for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the pork and coconut milk and continue cooking for another 10 to 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and remove the lemongrass and lime leaves.
  • Pour the water into a large pot. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook to your desired doneness. Keep stirring frequently, otherwise the pasta will stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • Meanwhile, reheat the pork mixture, making sure most of the oil has been removed. When the pasta is done, drain and immediately add to the pork sambal, tossing till well mixed. Take the pan off the heat and add the eggs, sweet basil and mint, and continue stirring until you see that the pasta is well coated with the mixture.
  • Divide into individual plates, sprinkle with the crispy garlic and serve immediately
Other Notes:

The pork mixture can be frozen and reheated either on the stove or in a microwave oven. To freeze, make the recipe up to the third step.

Once the cooked pork mixture has cooled, freeze in small portions.

To use, thaw and start the recipe from the fourth step, carrying on through to the end.