Note: Pipatpong Israsena, one of this year's Great Home Cooks, learned to cook from his father in Bangkok. And, judging by his recipes, he eats pretty well. For mieng kwayteow, he cuts a sheet of fresh rice noodles into strips and piles them on a plate. Another plate holds thinly sliced pork tenderloin, and small bowls contain roasted peanuts, dried shrimp and a bold sauce that is sweet, hot and loaded with garlic. A little bit of each of these ingredients goes into the center of a large leaf of super-fresh lettuce along with a little mint, red-stemmed basil and bean sprouts. Bite into the bundle and you'll experience a wonderful accumulation of flavors.
1 (2- to 3-pound) pork tenderloin
2 tablespoons palm sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
4 to 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped 5 tiny Thai chiles, chopped
1 (16-ounce) package uncut fresh rice noodles
Lettuce leaves, such as romaine or other leafy lettuce
Red-stemmed basil sprigs
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1/2 cup dried shrimp
Place pork in large saucepan or Dutch oven. Cover with water. Simmer until fully cooked, about 30 minutes. Cool and refrigerate.
Combine sugars, fish sauce and lime juice in small saucepan. Boil until sugars are dissolved. Cool. Add garlic and chiles. Turn into sauce dish.
Cut rice noodles into 3x1 1/2-inch rectangles and place on serving plate. Arrange lettuce, bean sprouts, basil and mint on large platter. Place peanuts and shrimp in separate bowls.
To eat, tear large lettuce leaf into smaller pieces. Top with 1 noodle rectangle, opened flat. Place few peanuts, couple shrimp and slice pork on top of noodle. Add spoonful sauce. Top with bean sprouts and herbs. Fold lettuce into bundle and eat. Makes 8 servings.
Each serving contains about:384 calories; 218 mg sodium; 55 mg cholesterol; 7 grams fat; 57 grams carbohydrates; 24 grams protein; 0.73gram fiber.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times