A while back we attended an evening of Indian cooking instruction at our local Volkshochschule. The next installment was last week, and we moved a little further East, culinarily speaking, to Thailand. Given Sarah’s rules about fish (it better be canned tuna or beer-battered cod) and derivative products, I was flying solo on this one. But I brought home a winner of a recipe that met with her approval this evening at home, too.
I like that the only thing this recipe calls for which was a bit out of the ordinary for us is the tapioca flour (Hey Tammy, it’s gluten-free!). All the other ingredients are pretty run-of-the-mill for us (although the cilantro must count as exotic, compared to local cuisine, since it gets flown to our favorite local China Laden in once a week from Thailand), but this is our first use of the cilantro root. I’m thinking about experimenting with that stuff and making some beef meatballs with it — perhaps over rice with a peanut sauce…lots of good options there!
4 cucumbers, cut into 5-7cm pieces
150g ground pork
2-3 cilantro roots, finely mashed
6 cloves of garlic, finely minced or pressed
1/2 tsp pepper
4 tbsp soy sauce (3 light, one dark)
1 tsp salt
1-2 green onions, sliced
1 small bunch cilantro
1 stalk celery, sliced
3 cups water
2 tsp tapioca flour
3 tbsp neutral oil for sautéeing your garlic
Mix up the ground pork, mashed cilantro root, half of the garlic, pepper, 2 tbsp light soy sauce and the tapioca flour well in a bowl.
Sautée the remaining garlic until nice and yellow, then set aside in a small bowl to cool. Don’t let it burn!
Seed the cucumbers (you will need a very narrow knife, or an apple corer worked great for us) and fill the hole with the ground pork mixture.
Put the water in a large pot, add the 1 tbsp light soy and 1 tbsp dark soy, and the salt and bring it to a boil.
Add the stuffed cukes and the rest of the ground pork mixture (formed into little meatballs). Cover and let boil 15-20 minutes until the cucumber flesh yields to gentle pressure with a spoon.
Add the green onion, cilantro, and celery to the pot and stir briefly. Serve in bowls sprinkled with the sautéed garlic.