Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Vietnamese Curried Kebabs

I love kebabs. I made these delicious morsels last night. Kebabs of all cuisines are often made with ground meat. Southeast Asian cuisine is known for it's delicious satay, which is pretty much the same as a kebab. Kebabs originated in the Middle East as small pieces of meat threaded and cooked over a fire. Traders brought the idea of kebabs to India, Indonesia and Southeast Asia, who adopted the idea and came up with their own versions of this delicious meal. This recipe is my version of one I found in "Curries and Kebabs" a favorite cookbook I often look to for ideas. I'm not the sort of cook who follows recipes verbatim but I am often inspired to make my own versions of recipes I come across. This is one of those recipes. It has the flavors of Vietnamese cuisine.  The fish sauce is very salty so I don't use any salt. You will notice the use of Indian curry powder. Curry powder is often used in Vietnamese cooking, especially in the south of the country. The mingling of cultures produces a magical combination that is delicious.

Vietnamese Curried Kebabs

8oz ground lean beef or sirloin
8oz ground pork
1 egg
1/4 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped red onion or sweet onion such as Vidalia or Peruvian
2 teaspoons lemon grass, finely chopped (I buy it in a jar as a speciality shop)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley
 2 teaspoons fish sauce
3 Tablespoons coconut milk
1/2 tsp Indian curry powder
2 Tablespoons peanut butter
2 teaspoons minced  fresh ginger
1 large garlic clove, minced
1-2 teaspoons Sambal chillie paste or 2-3 minced chillies such as Serrano
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 of a lime, juiced

Mix together bread crumbs, eggs and coconut milk. Add remaining ingredients and form into patties or meat balls. Thread on a skewer if desired and grill. Or, bake or broil until done. You can also pan fry them as patties like a slider burger. Do not over cook. Serve with lime wedges to squeeze over the top.

Serve with a veggie noodle salad with peanut sauce or in a wrap garnished with lettuce, fresh cilantro, cucumbers, and bean sprouts. Drizzle with Nuoc Cham or peanut sauce.

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