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Mah-haw (Thai pork on pineapple) recipe

Mah-haw (Thai pork on pineapple) recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Starters
  • Fruit starters

Pineapple and pork pair beautifully! This savoury-sweet starter is so delicious you might just eat the whole thing and call it dinner!

3 people made this

IngredientsServes: 10

  • 1 teaspoon whole white peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons peeled and chopped fresh coriander roots
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 225g pork mince
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons palm sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground peanuts
  • 1 fresh pineapple
  • 10 sprigs fresh coriander
  • 2 Thai red chilli peppers (prik chee fah), cut into tiny slivers

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:10min ›Ready in:40min

  1. Place peppercorns in a mortar and pound with a pestle until finely ground. Add coriander root and garlic; pound until everything is mashed together well. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and cook garlic paste until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add pork mince and cook, stirring often, until pork is cooked through and mixed well with garlic paste, about 5 minutes. Season with fish sauce and palm sugar and stir until well combined. Mix in peanuts. Taste pork; it should taste savoury with a hint of sweetness. Adjust seasonings if necessary.
  3. Peel, core and slice pineapple into 2cm thick slices. Cut slices into bite-sized pieces and lay on a serving platter. Top pineapple pieces with pork mixture. Garnish each pineapple piece with a coriander leaf and a sliver of red chilli pepper.


Fresh coriander roots are an essential flavour in Thai cooking - they are exactly what it sounds like, the roots of coriander plants.

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Eating the World

After an acting career spanning thirty years, Matthew Locricchio used his love of cooking to inspire young cooks to be confident in the kitchen. He is the author of numerous books, including a series of international cookbooks for children.

You’ve finally worked it out. The trip of a lifetime that you’ve talked about and planned for with spectacular sightseeing and exotic destinations is finally on the calendar. Have you forgotten anything? What about a well-researched food itinerary?

Knowing something about the people you’ll visit, how they live, what they wear, and the language they speak is a significant part of a successful trip. So is knowing about the food. Why not take that experience further by cooking some recipes from the country you’re about to visit?

Planning ahead isn’t just about scoping out the famous sights you’ll visit. It is also about indulging in the pleasure of eating new cuisines. Researching recipes made with unfamiliar ingredients and learning the culinary customs of the cities, towns, and countries before you depart gives you a real advantage. Involving the entire family in the research makes kids feel part of the planning and goes a long way toward ensuring a rewarding vacation.

Eating the world at home before you depart gets you and your family ready to dig in once you arrive. Setting time aside in your travel planning for eating explorations will make sure you get to taste what local people eat. The looming question “what are my kids going to eat?” should be something to think about before you travel, not a last minute decision. Most kids have a yuck list of foods they say will never cross their lips. “Gross, no way am I touching that.” “I just want it plain.” “The potato touched my burger.” Or the famous “You know I hate that.”

Cooking and eating the foods of where you’re going to travel have the potential for a big pay-off. When your picky eaters recognize something on a menu you’ve prepared at home, they might just be willing to try it again because they already know what it is and like it. They might even have helped cook it! Another tip to consider is to put out, a few weeks before your departure, maps and guidebooks for the family to explore. Learn what fruits, spices, condiments, vegetables, meats, and seafood are served in local restaurants and sold in markets. What utensils are used to eat with and how? Everyone knows about chopsticks in China, but what about Thailand? There you usually eat your meals with a spoon, with the fork used to push food onto the spoon. Don’t ask for chopsticks there unless noodles are part of the dish you’ve ordered.

Traveling together is a perfect chance for families to get to know each other in a whole new way. Get everyone involved in making plans.

Learning a few basic phrases of the language — such as “Hello,” “Good morning,” “Thank you,” and even “Where is the bathroom?”— is a real plus. And you’re likely to win the hearts of restaurant and hotel staff when you use them. Make a surprise gift to your kids of a food diary they can use to record what they eat and their reactions to the dishes. A record of food photos will also be a very cool way to impress everyone upon returning home. Think about scheduling lunch or dinners at restaurants in parts of the city you’ll be close to on one of your sightseeing trips. “Here’s what we ate near the Eiffel Tower.” What about blogging food discoveries back to friends at home? I still remember sharing my first Belgian waffle with my sister and brothers at the New York World’s Fair (yes, I’m that old). Treasured family photos show all of us, faces covered with whipped cream, grinning ear to ear, loving our first taste of Belgium.

Here are three recipes from Thailand, Brazil, and Mexico for kids and their families. The regal Galloping Horses from Thailand combines sweet, spicy, and crunchy ingredients with Thai fish sauce for authentic flavor. Fresh Shrimp and Black-Eyed Pea Salad is bound to whet your appetite for the Portuguese-inspired cooking of Brazil. The much loved Picadillo, the ground meat filling for tacos, enchiladas, and tostadas, gives an authentic taste of Mexico.

As they would say in Thailand, “Churnrub prothan mak mak na kha” or “Make yourself at home and eat all you like.”

Recipe: Minorcan-Style Duck with Green Olives

Note:This was an instant hit with the tasters in The Times Test Kitchen. The olives help thicken the sauce and flavor the duck spectacularly. The recipe, from “Paula Wolfert’s World of Food” (Harper & Row: 1988), is adapted from a Minorcan specialty that uses olives from that island. Wolfert suggests Nafplion or any light, small, firm cracked green olive with some character. The only olive she doesn’t advise is the Spanish Manzanilla.

1 1/4 cups finely chopped onions

1 head garlic, roasted, halved crosswise

1 large stalk celery, chopped

2 tablespoons roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley

1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

1 (5-pound) duckling, fresh or thawed

1/2 cup chopped, peeled, seeded tomatoes

3 tablespoons dry Marsala, Sherry or Madeira

1 1/2 cups small light-green cracked olives

Combine onions, garlic, celery, bay leaves, parsley, salt, paprika, white pepper and vanilla bean. Mix well.

Empty cavity of duck. Reserve giblets for another use. Cut off wings at second joint. Roughly chop wings and neck. Set aside.

Remove loose fat from cavity, neck and tail. Cut out fat under wings. Rinse duck and pat dry.

Stuff duck with onion mixture and sew up opening. Truss duck to keep shape. Refrigerate uncovered until 1 hour before cooking.

With tines of fork pierce duck skin every inch. With small paring knife, make deep slits in thick, fatty areas. Place duck in large skillet with 1 tablespoon olive oil and brown all over. Transfer, breast-side-up, to 5- to 6-quart casserole, either earthenware or enameled cast iron.

Brown wings and neck bones in skillet. Then add to casserole. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from skillet, raise heat and add tomatoes. Mash tomatoes and saute until lightly scorched (to enhance flavor and sweetness). Scrape tomatoes and brown bits into casserole. Quickly deglaze skillet with Marsala and white wine. Add to casserole. Add cloves and shallots.

Cover casserole with circle of parchment paper or foil and tight-fitting lid. (Or earthenware dish filled with cold water that fits snugly over casserole.) Cook over low heat 2 1/4 hours, or about 25 minutes per pound of stuffed duck. Do not raise temperature. Let duck stand 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, strain cooking juices, pressing duck gently to extract juices. Skim off fat. Then reduce juices to 1 cup in saucepan over medium heat. Cut duck into quarters. Discard backbone, wings and stuffing. Set in cool place. Cover pan juices. Blanch and pit olives. Duck can be made several hours hours ahead of time to this point.

In saucepan, combine juices and olives. Bring to boil. Simmer to blend flavors and thicken sauce. Adjust seasonings to taste. Cover and keep warm. Rub duck skin with remaining olive oil or rendered duck fat. Place duck under broiler to reheat thoroughly and crisp skin. Place duck in warmed serving dish. Pour sauce over. Serve at once.