Lemongrass,Black Vinegar, and Curry Leaves?
I made two different cookies/bar cookies using grated lemongrass as the main ingredient to raves last night:
this lemongrass-ginger drop cookie comes out ultra thin and crispy-very tasty.
this bar cookie comes out creamy and rich. nice combo of lemongrass & coconut.
Here is a recipe I saw recently (From Camille's on Wheels food truck, Oahu, re-jiggered, naturally):
THAI PORK TACOS
2 pounds pork shoulder or butt
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
1 cup water
3 tablespoons Thai red chili paste
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons salt
6 cloves garlic, peeled
8 kaffir lime leaves
4 stalks lemongrass (light part only), cut into 1-inch pieces
6 small corn tortillas
Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
>> Pico de Gallo:
4 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
4 to 6 jalapenos, minced
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon agave syrup
6 cups shredded cabbage
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place pork in large Dutch oven.
In bowl, whisk coconut milk, water, chili paste, ginger and salt. Add garlic, kaffir leaves and lemongrass. Pour mixture over pork and cover tightly with lid. Bake 4 hours or until pork is tender.
Transfer pork to cutting board; let rest 15 minutes. Shred. Set aside.
To make pico de gallo: in bowl, combine tomatoes, onion and jalapenos. Stir well. Set aside.
Just before serving, make slaw: In large bowl, whisk mayonnaise, mirin and agave. Add cabbage; toss well to coat.
Warm tortilla in skillet over medium heat until warm but still pliable.
Place about 3 T shredded pork on each tortilla. Top with slaw, pico de gallo and cilantro. Feeds 6.
Besides adding lemongrass to stir-fries, marinades and curries, I will bruise a branch (or use the tough yet fragrant outer layers) and add it to a water bottle in the fridge overnight. I will also chuck it into a pot of rice or other grain as it steams to gently infuse the citrusy flavor.
I've only used the Chinkiang style black vinegar, but I like it in dipping sauce for dumplings and I've used it as a sub for both balsamic vinegar (in dishes where that isn't the dominant flavor) and worchestchire. IMO it works really well as a boost to dishes that are missing that indistinguishable little something since it has some acid and some umami notes.
I've used lemongrass in Vietnamese/Thai/Cambodian stews because I have a happy big brush of it outside my back door, and chicken skewers and thin-sliced pork chops are marinated with finely-chopped lemongrass before grilling. Yum!
Black vinegars seem to vary a lot. I like CHINKIANG VINEGAR more than KOON CHUN brand black vinegar. It might appear if you searched for Asian sweet and sour sauce where black vinegar often is used to balance sweetness/sugar.
Curry leaves: I judge Indian/Pakistani recipes, fairly or unfairly, by the length of the spice list. THE LONGER, THE BETTER. By the time I run across curry leaves, I'm probably convinced it is worth saving. Search a site by recipe ingredient and see what comes up for curry leaves. If it sounds good, DO IT, then report back please.
Sorry to have taken so long to reply.
I use black vinegar for ribs, this is one recipe I can offer quickly. The sweet and sour lends itself beautifully.
some CH suggestions for curry leaves
and lemongrass, great in soups, flavoring broth, added to stir fry and steeped in tea. I often use lemongrass stalks as a tea stirrer.