Savory Eggplant Hot Pot with Pork
Thai red curry paste is a blend of fiery chilies, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf and galangal. A jarred version is an easy way to add a burst of complex flavor to quick dishes like this one. If you want something milder, reduce the curry paste by half. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.
- 1 pork tenderloin, about 1 lb.
- Salt, to taste
- 1 lb. slender eggplant
- 2 red Fresno chilies
- 1 Tbs. canola oil
- 2 tsp. Thai red curry paste
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 3 to 3 1/2 tsp. fresh lime juice
- 1 to 1 1/2 tsp. Asian fish sauce
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro sprigs
Trim the fat and any silvery membrane from the pork tenderloin and cut into 1-inch chunks; season with salt. Trim the ends from the eggplant and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks. Cut the chilies into rings and discard the seeds.
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring to break it up, until slightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the pork and cook, stirring frequently, until browned, 4 to 7 minutes. Transfer the pork to a bowl.
Add the eggplant, broth and chilies to the saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until the eggplant is just tender, about 5 minutes. Return the pork to the pan along with any accumulated juices and simmer until the pork is cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes more. Stir in the lime juice and fish sauce to taste. Garnish with the cilantro sprigs and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Eat Well, by Charity Ferreira (Oxmoor House, 2008).