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Saffron pilaf with crispy lemon grass pork

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Saffron pilaf with crispy lemon grass pork

Jasmine rice gently scented with saffron from the Middle East, lemon grass from Thailand, ginger from central Asia and basil and coriander are combined in this magical pilaf. Finish off the international combination by serving it with Naan bread or Focaccia.


  • 2 scotch fillet pork steaks
  • 1 stalk lemon grass
  • 2 cm piece fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups Jasmine rice
  • 2 big cloves garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron threads
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1¾ cups vegetable stock
  • 100 grams shrimps or crab meat
  • ¼ cup each fresh basil and coriander leaves


  1. Trim any excess fat from the pork. Slice the steaks into very fine strips.
  2. Trim the lemon grass of coarse outer leaves and cut away any of the top stem above the light green area. Peel the ginger. Finely mince or chop the lemon grass and ginger and mix with the first measure of olive oil. Toss the pork in this mixture and leave for about 4 hours or overnight if possible.
  3. Heat the second measure of olive oil in a heavy based frying pan and cook the onion for 5 minutes until softened but not brown. Peel and finely chop the garlic, add to the pan and cook for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the rice.
  4. Heat the saffron and wine together in the microwave for about 1 minute until the wine turns a golden colour. Add the wine and stock to the pan. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to allow the rice to barely simmer for 15 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed.
  5. Cook the pork mixture in a frying pan with a smidgen of oil until quite crispy. Be cautious not to burn the ginger and lemon grass. Toss through the torn basil and coriander leaves and chopped crab meat.
  6. Arrange the meat on top of the pilaf and serve hot.

Cooks Tips

- When tirmming the lemon grass, use only the 4-5cm of the white stalk end. The green part is too fibrous, but don't throw it away because it's good for flavouring soups and stocks.

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