Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Pork and Lemongrass Sliders with Sesame Slaw

Yes, before anyone cares to comment this is not a true slider in its original sense, but more a mini burger, perfect for a party or a Saturday night in front of the TV. Although some people may be upset that the slider name has been appropriated by any small snack in a bun, including pot roast, chicken breasts, tuna and lobster, it's happened now, so we can all move on and instead marvel at these sweetly fragrant and spicy numbers, served with a sweet and sour crunchy coleslaw.

With a total absence of anything resembling a mini burger roll in town I decided the easiest course of action would be to make my own. Although not entirely perfect (they seemed a little dry and not fluffy enough) they were never the less a very decent vehicle for the spicy pork and mayo filling. (I used the other half of the bread dough to make some poppy seed-topped numbers which I stuffed with mounds of crispy bacon and ketchup, bliss.)

The coleslaw to serve alongside was a fresh and crunchy mixture of shredded red onion, white cabbage and carrot, topped with a sweet, hot chilli sauce, a splash of nam plaa, lime juice, salt and some brown sugar. All finished with a decent handful of toasted sesame seeds for a nutty crunch.

The patties themselves are adapted from a Nigel Slater recipe that I have served before with sprigs of mint and lettuce leaves to wrap them in. They would also be good with stir fried vegetables and noodles, as a sort of riff on spaghetti and meatballs.

While I think good beef patties should, as a general rule, be kept as simple as possible, pork and lamb can take a lot more flavouring and these are wonderfully fragrant with citrus and chilli spice. To keep the South East Asian flavours running throughout I flavoured the mayo with some Indonesian sambal oelek chili paste for a little extra kick. You could substitute with another chili paste, or a little chilli sauce.

Pork and Lemongrass Sliders with Sambal Oelek Mayo and Sesame Slaw
Serves 4

12 mini bread rolls - I used this recipe to make 20 small rolls (if you can't get mini rolls, or don't have time to make these then use larger rolls and adjust the patty size accordingly)

Half a white cabbage, shredded
1 red onion, finely sliced
2 carrots, grated
Good squeeze of hot, sweet chilli sauce
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
Juice of a lime
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
Chives to garnish

3 heaped tbsp mayonnaise (shop bought is fine)
1 tbsp sambal oelek chilli paste

500g pork mince
Zest of a lime
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 stalk of lemongrass, outer leaves discarded and very finely sliced.
1 red chilli, finely chopped
4 spring onions, roughly chopped
Salt and black pepper
Small bunch of coriander

Lime wedges to garnish

Place the onions, carrots and cabbage in a large bowl. Add the chilli sauce, sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, sesame oil and salt.
Stir the ingredients together thoroughly and leave for about an hour for the flavours to marry together.

Place the pork mince in a bowl, add the zest, garlic, lemongrass, chilli, spring onion and seasoning and mix well.
Shape the mince into about 12 small patties, roughly the same size as your bread rolls.
Fry the patties in a hot pan for approximately 4 minutes each side, or until crispy on the outside and cooked through.

Mix the mayonnaise and sambal oelek paste together and spread on both halves of the bread roll.
Place a pork patty on top of the bottom half of the roll, top with coriander leaves and finish with the top half of the bun.

Serve with the sesame slaw and extra lime wedges.

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