If you are in Singapore and you have just finished celebrating the Lunar New Year, you might have the same problem I had. I bought too many sets of Lo Hei ingredients, without anticipating the restrictions and precautionary measures brought about by Covid 19. “What to do?”, I asked myself. I remembered our family doctor telling us (my mother and me) that he adds very thin slices of lime leaf, very thin slices of chili and a dash of fish sauce to his lo hei salad and it takes on a Thai touch. So that is what I did. I made a pomelo salad using the lo hei ingredients (minus the carrots and the radish), added the lime leaf, chili and fish sauce. It was a refreshing change.
I needed a meat dish to go with the salad, so the easiest was Thai basil leaf minced meat. I could either use chicken or pork. I chose pork. I had 2 kg of minced pork, so I decided to make 1 kg of spicy basil leaf pork, and 1 kg of non-spicy basil leaf pork. The former had fresh chili and the latter was without fresh chili. Not everyone likes chili and not everyone can take chili for various reasons.
The cooking steps are really simple:
- start off by pounding 1 large chili with 5 cloves garlic
- add cooking oil into the wok (about 4 or 5 tablespoons), fry the chili and the garlic, add a handful of basil leaves (you don’t need so much oil, as the minced pork will produce oil when it is cooked if it has fat in it)
3. add the minced pork (1kg) , stir well until juice from the meat comes out
4. add 1 tablespoon of soya sauce, 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce, 1 tablespoon of fish sauce and half a tablespoon of sugar
5. add another handful of basil leaves, stir until the leaves are cooked
6. taste to see if you would like it to be more salty. It is good to start off with less soya sauce and fish sauce, especially if you are cooking for people with a low-salt diet.
7. serve with steaming hot rice
For the non-spicy version, follow the same steps, just omit the chili.
This article is dedicated to all healthcare professionals, especially to Dr Adelina Mah of the “Nice Stories” chat group, which was started to help each one see the beautiful things in life.
By Chayo, Homskil Editor 1, 28 February 2021