Friday, February 25, 2011

At Home: Laotian Stuffed Green Peppers (Moke Mock Pit)

After an extended holiday hiatus, I'm happy to bring back At Home with Hippocrene! As you may notice from the pictures, the "home" part looks different. I'm still adjusting to a much smaller kitchen, often reminding myself of the increased space overall. If you ever despair in your urban kitchen, read My Life in France and be thoroughly put in your place by all of Julia Child's delicious accomplishments in her tiny appartement!


The grocery store in my new neighborhood has lots of exotic (to me, at least) produce like giant aloe leaves, hunks of yucca, cactus, and cheyote. Unfortunately, it did not have the dill and lemongrass I needed for this recipe. It seemed silly to make a special trip for under $4 worth of ingredients, but the results were worth it!


Moke Mock Pit (Stuffed Green Peppers)
(from Simple Laotian Cooking, page 108 )


Serves 6


1/4 cup rice
6 large bell peppers
1/4 cup sliced lemongrass
6 cloves garlic
3 shallots or 1 small onion, sliced
1 large hot pepper, sliced or 1/4 bell pepper for a mild dish
1 lb ground pork, beef, or turkey
1/2 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 stalks scallions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill

Directions:



Note: If you have a moment in the produce aisle like I did, trying to decide if you're holding a bunch of green onions or scallions, look here! Some people may use the names interchangeably, and although they look alike, they do have slightly different tastes. Green onions have a definite round bulb at the base, while scallions look like miniature leeks, straight all the way to their stubby roots.

1. Soak the rice in warm water for 30 minutes. 





2. Wash the green peppers. Cut off their tops, scape out the seeds, and set aside. Cut up the other ingredients while you wait on the rice. I used half a jalapeƱo, which gave it a kick, but wasn't overly spicy.




3. In a blender add rice, lemongrass, and 1/4 cup water. Blend ten seconds. Add garlic, shallots, and pepper. Blend until you have a coarse puree. If you're going to roast them, preheat the oven now. If steaming, make sure your pot has water, etc..




4. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add ground pork (or other meat), salt, fish sauce, scallions, and dill. Mix well with a spoon.


5. Spoon 1/6 of the mixture in each pepper and spread it evenly. place the peppers in a baking dish and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Steam for 1 hour on high heat or roast in a 375-degree oven for 1 hour. Serve with rice and steamed vegetables. While it may not be traditional, the peppers taste great with ketchup, Thai sweet chili sauce or even plum sauce!


6 comments:

Eftychia said...

Delicious recipe. Thanks for sharing!!

Emely said...

Can this recipe be made with fish also? I know mok pa is normally steamed in banana leaf but was wondering if it can be cooked in the green pepper if I do not have access to the leaves...

Hippocrene Books said...

Hi,

You can make this recipe with fish as well! We didn't have access to the leaves either, so just use aluminum foil to cover your baking dish.

As a side note, we recommend that you halve the amount of dill!

heritability said...

Hello, if you were to add bean thread vermecelli noodles to the mix, would you need to presoak the noodles first, if you were to bake them?

heritability said...

Hello, if you were to add bean thread vermecelli noodles to the mix, would you need to presoak the noodles first, if you were to bake them?

heritability said...

Hello, if you were to add bean thread vermecelli noodles to the mix, would you need to presoak the noodles first, if you were to bake them?