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Beef Stew with Banana Blossoms and Eggplant


Beef Stew with Banana Blossoms and Eggplant
3 cups sticky rice, soaked for two or more hours in four quarts of warm water
4 pounds beef or buffalo, leg meat with tendons
4 teaspoons salt
2 stalks lemon grass, cut into three-inch sections
2 or three eggplants, sliced
12 Thai eggplants, sliced
2 ounces dried black fungus, soaked, then rinsed and chopped, and soaked for half an hour
2 pounds green beans, stems removed
2 banana blossoms, separate the petals and discarding the tough outer ones
1 bunch scallions, root ends removed, and cut into two-inch pieces
1 bunch fresh dill, coarsely chopped
1 bunch fresh coriander, coarsely chopped
1 cup cilantro leaves (also called saw-leaf herb), coarsely chopped
1 bunch Thai basil, coarsely chopped
1 and 1/2 ounces fried pork rinds
1. Blend soaked rice and water until completely pureed, then set aside.
2. Use half the salt, and sprinkle over the meat, then broil it in a 450 degree F oven for fifteen to twenty minutes, remove from the oven and allow to cool.
3. Cut the meat into one-quarter-inch pieces and set aside.
4. Bring four quarts of water to the boil, add the lemon grass, and simmer for one hour, then discard the lemon grass pieces.
5. Toss the sliced eggplants with the half-teaspoon salt and two cups of water, and set aside.
6. Add meat, drained black fungus, and all the chopped greens and the green beans, and the salt. Stir, then simmer for until the green beans are cooked. When they are, add pureed rice and stir.
7. Pour into a soup tureen or individual bowls, add pork rinds, and serve.

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