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Thai Soured Pork Ribs – Naem Si Krong Mu (แหนมซี่โครงหมู)

After I teased you with a preview of Naem in one of the recent posts, quite a few impatient emails have come in asking for a full post on this cured meat, one of the most delicious charcuterie products Southeast Asia has to offer. While the enthusiasm is encouraging, I strongly believe that if you’re someone who has never eaten naem (แหนม), let alone made it from scratch, it’s best that you take one baby step at a time. After all, we’re talking about fermented pork meat that is traditionally served raw; even those who grew up eating it rarely make it at home.

The type of naem most commonly found in Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos is soured ground pork (sometimes with pork skin slivers added to it). However, at least in Thailand, another sub-category of naem is just as popular. Chief among the members of this sub-category is soured pork ribs (แหนมซี่โครงหมู). Continue Reading →

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Cinnamon Pear Jam

cinnamon pear jam

Bartlett pears were so perfect and plentiful during the Christmas week that I ended up buying way too many of them. Pears are best eaten fresh, of course, and I had my fill of fresh pears that week. Even so, I still ended up with a surplus of pears. What do you do with pears that are a day or two past their prime?

I thought about poaching them in red wine, but that would be a bad idea as, first of all, Bartlett is not a good poaching pear (Bosc is) and, secondly, the leftover pears I had were a little too ripe and the poaching would have just turned them into mush. So, instead, I decided to turn them into this delicious jam. As if I needed an excuse.

This jam is supposed to be on a soft and chunky side. It’s great on a buttered piece of bread or as a pastry filling.

cinnamon pear jam

Cinnamon Pear Jam
Makes about 6 half-pint jars

4 1/2 cups prepared (peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes) pears (from approximately 3 1/2 pounds of ripe Bartlett pears)

6 cinnamon sticks

5 cups granulated sugar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1 (3-ounce) pouch liquid pectin

  • In a large jam pot or a nonreactive saucepan, combine the pear cubes, cinnamon sticks, sugar, and lemon juice. (Prepare the pears just before cooking to prevent browning.)
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a full boil.
  • Continue to boil until the pear is soft, about 5 minutes longer.
  • With a potato masher, mash some of the pear cubes so you end up with some chunks and some purée.
  • Add the ground cinnamon; boil 3 minutes longer.
  • Add the liquid pectin and bring back to a full boil; continue boiling for 2 more minutes.
  • Take the jam off the heat and skim off the foam.
  • Let the jam stand for 2 minutes to allow it to thicken up. This will ensure good suspension of the pear chunks; otherwise the chunks will float to the top.
  • Fish out the cinnamon sticks and place one cinnamon stick in each jar. Spoon the jam into the jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space.
  • Cool and refrigerate for 3 months or process in a water bath and store the jars at room temperature for up to 6 months.
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