What can you do with wild pepper plant (pokok kaduk in Malay)? Why not use it as wrappers to make cute meat parcels?
Minced pork wrapped in wild pepper leaves. 💝
Wild pepper plant is also known as wild betel, however, it’s better to call it by its former name. Because you see, the name wild betel is most often confused with another almost similarly named plant, called betel (sirih in Malay). The shape and color of the betel leaf can look quite similar to wild pepper from a distance. However, both taste a world’s apart. Anyway, make sure to use the correct leaf for this recipe ya. If not, you’ll be in for a big shock! Hehe
FYI, the recipe from the food magazine that I get my inspiration from is based on a Vietnamese dish. Besides Vietnam, wild pepper leaves are used in Thai, Lao, Cambodian, and as well as Nyonya cuisine.
Place minced pork, garlic, shallots, ginger, fish sauce, salt and black pepper in a large bowl. Use a spoon to give it a thorough mix. Let it marinate in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
Homegrown wild pepper leaves in various sizes. Wash them thoroughly as mine has aphids. Heart-shaped 💚 leaf!
After at least 30 minutes,
Place a wild pepper leaf (upside down) on a flat surface like a plate or cutting board. Scoop minced pork filling (about 30%-40% of the leaf size) onto the leaf’s center.
Fold up the left and right side of the leaf.
Next, fold up the bottom and top leaf.
Place the opening face-down on a steaming plate. You can try sealing the opening with a toothpick. I tried once and it tore the leaf. I prefer closing the opening (folds) with gravity. Proceed with the rest of the minced pork filling. Tsk, I ran out of the leaves, hence I only make 7 pieces. Hehe But never fear, I kept the rest of the minced pork filling in the freezer and will wait for my wild pepper plant to grow more leaves.
As my wild pepper leaves have a variety of sizes, the wrapped minced pork (cute green parcels!) come in many sizes as well. I love the imperfection.
Steam it for 8-10 minutes.
Results of the steaming. You can actually serve it like this. Drench the parcels/dumplings with the steaming water (pork essence) from the plate to moisten them up. I thought of giving them a more rustic look, hence the next step.
Add 4-5 tablespoons of cooking oil in a skillet. Sear both sides of the parcels/dumplings until lightly browned. Place the seared parcels on the serving plate and drench ’em with the steamed pork essence.
Ta da… aren’t they cute? They are most certainly perfect with a bowl of warm rice.
If you’re not a big fan of fish sauce, you might want to reduce the quantity to 1 tablespoon, but really fish sauce is an important ingredient in this dish.
Minced Pork Wrapped In Wild Pepper Leaves
Inspired by Flavors magazine January-February 2011
Makes about 10-15 pieces
300g minced pork
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
10g ginger, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly grounded black pepper
10-15 pieces wild pepper leaves, rinsed
4-5 tablespoons cooking oil
1. In a large bowl, add minced pork, garlic, shallots, ginger, fish sauce, salt and black pepper. Mix until well combined. Leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
2. Depending on the size of your wild pepper leaf, place a moderate amount of minced pork filling on the upside down leaf (about 30%-40% of the leaf size). Fold up the leaf on all four sides and place the opening face-down on a steaming plate. Continue with the rest of the minced pork filling until all have been used up.
3. Steam the plate of wrapped minced pork for about 8-10 minutes in high heat. Remove the plate from steamer. Do not discard the steaming water in the plate. They’re the essence of the pork.
4. In a skillet, heat 4-5 tablespoons of cooking oil. Sear the cute minced pork parcels on both sides until lightly browned. Drench with the pork essence and serve warm with rice.