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I'm trying to recreate a dish I had at Alinea a while ago. Their forum actually had a good start for this dish:

The garnishes on the surface are Hawaiian volcanic salt, cucumber, garlic chips, fresh banana, young coconut, red onion, lime segments with zest, toasted cashews, and red chili pudding. The glass circle contains a basil seed-lime vinaigrette.

We press the herbs in between two pieces of rice paper to form the centerpiece. Once the frame is assembled the server drapes the flag over the frame. We cure the pork belly with salt, sugar and aromatics. It is cooked sous vide until tender, seared and shredded. We make a curry sauce from coconut, ginger, mint, lemongrass, thai chilis, kaffir lime, cardamom, coriander, and lime juice. We mix the curry with the shredded pork belly to make the ragu spooned over tableside by the service staff.

My question is, what would be a typical set of Thai aromatics for the pork prior to putting it in the sous vide?

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3 Answers

I think of the typical Thai flavor profile as garlic, ginger, lemongrass, some kind of spicy pepper, and Thai basil.

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You actually have a good "list" already in your question... the spices in the "curry sauce" minus the coconut and lime juice would make a nice Thai dry spice rub. You could add a little salt and a couple whole green peppercorns or cracked black peppercorn as well.

ginger, mint, lemongrass, thai chilis, kaffir lime, cardamom, coriander

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The basic set of definitevely Thai flavours goes more or less like this:

  • Lemongrass
  • Galangal
  • Kaffir lime leaves (use like bay leaves)
  • Fish sauce
  • Hot pepper
  • Garlic
  • Coriander seed (ground)
  • Cardamom and Cinnamon as finishings

The above is basically my recipe for Thai curry paste, which I use for making noodles with or without coconut milk.

You can generally use ginger as a substitute for Galangal and soy sauce as a substitute for fish sauce, but that loses the Thai distinction and beocmes generally southeast-asian.

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