VIETNAMESE PORK OMELETTE
6 free-range eggs
1 tsp fish sauce
2 spring onions, white part only, sliced
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
100g minced lean pork
coriander leaves, to garnish
crusty baguette, to serve
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, fish sauce and spring onion. Season with a generous pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Place a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the oil, then fry the onion and garlic for 5 minutes, or until soft and fragrant. Add the pork and continue to fry, stirring and breaking up any lumps, until browned.
Pour the egg mixture into the pan and cover with a lid. Cook for 3 minutes, or until the base of the omelette is golden brown and the top is just set.
Slide the omelette out of the pan, onto a plate. Garnish with coriander and serve with crusty baguette.
SNAILS COOKED IN LEMONGRASS, GINGER, LIME LEAVES & BASIL
SERVES 4–6 AS PART OF A SHARED MEAL
300g fresh snails, in their shells; if you can't obtain these, tinned ones are fine
2 lemongrass stems
4cm knob of fresh ginger, peeled
2 long red chillies
6 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
handful of Thai basil
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp vinegar
1 red bird's eye chilli, chopped
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp chopped lemongrass, white part only
2 lemon leaves, or kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
If using fresh snails, leave them to soak in salted water for 10 minutes, before rinsing under fresh cold water. Repeat this process three times, then set aside. (You won't need to do this if using tinned snails.)
Combine all the dipping sauce ingredients in a bowl. Add 125ml water and stir well to dissolve the sugar. Set aside.
Pound the lemongrass stems using a pestle, to help release their flavour. Chop into 4cm lengths and place in a saucepan.
Give the ginger and chillies a bit of a pounding, then add to the saucepan with the lime leaves. Pour in 500ml water and bring to the boil.
Add the snails to the pan, then cover and cook for 5 minutes, or until the snails are tender.
Transfer the snails to a serving bowl and garnish with Thai basil leaves. Serve with the dipping sauce, and with toothpicks to pick the snails out of their shells.
SCOTCH FILLET WITH OKRA & RED ASIAN SHALLOT BUTTER
60ml vegetable oil
4 x 250g scotch fillet or rump steaks
40g unsalted butter
12 fresh okra, halved lengthways
ASIAN SHALLOT BUTTER
4 red Asian shallots, finely chopped
120g unsalted butter
2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
To prepare the Asian shallot butter, simmer the shallots and wine in a saucepan over medium heat for 4 minutes, or until the wine has reduced to 1 tablespoon. Transfer to a mixing bowl and set aside to cool. Once cooled, add the butter and mix well. Mix in the parsley and season with a generous pinch of freshly ground black pepper. Transfer the butter mixture to a piece of plastic wrap, then roll up in the plastic wrap, into a large sausage shape, about 16cm long and 4cm wide. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes, or until firm.
Heat half the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Season the steaks well on both sides with sea salt and black pepper. When the oil is hot, reduce the heat to low and add half the butter. When the butter starts to foam, add the steaks and cook for 4 minutes on each side, or until medium-rare, basting with the browned butter as you cook.
Remove the steaks and allow to rest in a warm place for 5-10 minutes. Just before serving, sear the okra in a hot frying pan with the remaining oil and butter for 2-3 minutes. Divide the steaks among four plates. Cut the butter into slices about 1cm thick, placing them on top of the steaks to melt slightly. Serve with the okra.