Babi Lelawar (Balinese Pork in a Coconut Sauce)

Babi_Lelawar_2013_05_02I tasted this dish for the first time while on vacation in Bali — fell in love with it and determined that I would recreate it at home. It wasn’t too difficult to prepare — I think this dish is easy enough for anyone yearning for something different. I’ve made this dish several times since that trip. I like to serve it with telur kari (Indonesian curried eggs), steamed coconut rice and steamed green beans.

1 lb pork tenderloin, sliced down the middle lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 half small red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp Laos powder (or 1/2 tsp minced fresh galangal)
1 1/4 tsp salt
4 tsp sambal ulek
1 Tbsp canola oil
3 salam leaves
1 cup coconut milk
1 Tbsp tamarind juice

Combine the pork, onions, red bell pepper, garlic, cumin, coriander, Laos powder, salt and sambal ulek in a medium bowl. Let stand half an hour.

Meanwhile, combine the coconut milk and the salam leaves in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok or other pan over medium-high heat. Add the pork mixture and saute until the pork is no longer pink, about 4 minutes.

Add the coconut milk and salam leaves to the pan. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat, uncovered, until the sauce is very thick, about 25 minutes. Stir in the tamarind juice, then serve.

Serves 4.


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