Nua Pad Krapow

You’ll never wok alone.

– A true wok and liverpool fan

Eventhough the Nua Pad Krapow is such a simple recipe, it has a very special place in my heart. During my last year of college I went to Thailand to meet one of my best childhood friends and just the smell of this dish brings me back to the urban jungle of Bangkok! So if you are looking for some comfort food…wok your way into the weekend by cooking this popular Thai dish than can’t get any easier!

The famous Nua Pad Krapow is considered a sort of fast-food in Thailand. Almost like the equivalent of a hotdog or a sandwich. You can find it all over Bangkok in small little street food shops that sell it as one of the most wanted quick lunch alternatives for the busy life of the city.

The original recipe uses chicken as the main protein. But it’s not a sin to substitute it with pork or beef! Being a street food classic in Thailand, it’s quiete common to find some personal touch depending on where you get it. You can eat it with rice instead of a fried egg or you can eat it with both! No matter how you decide to enjoy your Nua Pad Krapow…this recipe will help you in learning the essential to make it delcious!

Ingredients:

  • 250g beef and pork mince
  •  2 garlic cloves
  •  1 red chilli (you can use any red or green spicy chilli you prefer)
  •  2 tbsp of peanut oil
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  •  1 pack of fresh basil leaves
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp of fish sauce (or soy sauce if you prefer)

Directions:

  1. Heat your wok in very high heat, once its smoking add the oil on the sides so it slowly drips into the center of the wok. Meanwhile it gets warmer, make sure to chop the chilli and the garlic.
  2. Drop the chilli and the garlic in the wok and constantly stir until fragrant.
  3. Add the meat and the sugar. Toss them around until the sugar starts to caramelise and the meat begin to get brown. Add the sauce and stir. This is the step where you taste and season your meat.
  4. Add the basil to the wok and stir for another couple of minutes making sure not to over cook the basil. Then separate de mixture to another bowl.
  5. Let some clean running water into your wok and get it back in the stove to dry. When the wok is very hot, add the oil for the fried eggs. Make sure to fry them until the edges are crispy and brown.
  6. Serve the beef and the egg on top of your plate! Enjoy!

Cochinita pibil tacos

Inhale tacos. exhale negativity.

– Every taco fan ever

Cochinita pibil is a traditional Mexican pork dish from the Yucatán Peninsula. Eventhough this dish is traditionaly from the south of Mexico there is no household in the country that dosent know how to prepare a really good home-made cochinita pibil taco! This dish is part of the must-know unspoken book of living in Mexico and no matter how common it is in our households a good cochinita pibil will always be the star of the table if cooked with love.

Making Cochinita Pibil is not hard! The only problem is that it needs a secret ingredient that is sometimes hard to find if you are not in Mexico (but hey! i made it in Italy!). This secret ingredient is called achiote and it is the heart of Cochinita Pibil. Achiote is a paste made of a mix of annatto seeds (aka achiote), garlic, chilies, bitter orange juice and a mix of seasonings. Sadly without this…there is no cochinita 😦 😦 😦 😦

However if you DO get this bright red paste then you can start the fun! Making Cochinita Pibil is a great way to impress your “I love mexican food” fanatics that had not tried the colorful world of mexican food outside the tex-mex dishes in town. The best part? it’s VERY easy to do…

As with most home recipes…there is not an exclusive way to cook this beloved dish. So we decided to share with you how we make it at home for our saturday taco cravings, with the hope that the outcome is worth that taquito dream of yours.

It really get’s as easy as just popping ingredients into a blender. Because the true trick behind some good Cochinita is the marination time! So be patient and let your Cochinita rest in your fridge for some hours…maybe even the night!

We usually make our own tortillas at home. But we decided to try a brand of tortillas in Milan from Don Jose (if you are in Italy make sure to order online if you want some mexican ingredients in your kitchen).

There is only ONE rule for eating tacos. EAT THEM WITH YOUR HANDS! It’s an insult to the taco if you eat it with a fork,

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg of pork
  • 1 pack of achiote (almost 110g)
  • 1 cup of orange or lemon juice (you can also use white vinegar or the 3 of them!)
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • 1 large white onion sliced in half
  • 1/2 large purple onion (optional)
  • 3 habanero chilli
  • Any fresh or dried chilli you prefer according to how much you want this cochinita to be spicy ( this part is optional)
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Prepare the achiote by placing it in a bowl and adding slowly some of the juice/juices of your choice. Do not add the full cup yet, make sure to add a half of it to make the achiote more citric. Once the achiote has completely mixed with the juice, stir it with a spoon and add the mixture in a blender.
  2. Add the garlic, half white onion season with salt and pepper and blend it all together. Try it and trust your instincts, if you prefer it more citric then add more juice and so on.
  3. Cook the pork on a pan until both sides are slightly brown and the center it’s still raw. Add your achiote mixture and let it cook in medium heat for around 40-60 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile the pork is cooking you can chop the purple onion and the rest of the white one in squares. Chop and add the habanero as well. Mix them in a bowl and add a squeeze of lemon if you like. Save it for serving optionally for the tacos.
  5. Once the pork is cooked, shred it in a bowl, heat some tortillas and make some tacos!