Our spicy pork mince pie recipe made with Cambodian prahok ktis is a marriage of Australian and Cambodian food made in heaven – an iconic Australian meat pie filled with Cambodia’s deliciously spicy dip of minced pork, coconut cream, pea eggplants, and prahok, the Khmer fermented fish paste. If you love curried meat pies, you are going to love our spicy minced pork pie.
This spicy pork mince pie recipe inspired by Cambodia’s fantastic prahok ktis dip is next in my series of recipes for Australia’s iconic meat pies and sausage rolls made with traditional Cambodian dishes. The series has been one of the many cooking projects that has kept us focused and calm while we’ve been staying at home and quarantine cooking here in Siem Reap in recent months.
So far our pie and sausage roll recipe series has included a curried chicken pie recipe based on the gently-spiced Cambodian chicken curry, a hearty curry beef pie recipe made with the rich, complex Cambodian Saraman curry (a cousin of Thailand’s Massaman curry), a Saraman curry sausage rolls recipe filled with the same curry, and a sausage roll with eggplant and pork recipe based on this traditional Cambodian char-grilled eggplant and minced pork dish.
As you can guess, we’re pork lovers and Cambodia’s pork, much of which is free-range, compares well with delicious Australian pork. If you’re also a pork fan, do see our top 12 pork recipes. And if you’re a lover of the Australian sausage roll, also see my Aussie sausage rolls recipe adapted from Jane Lawson’s nostalgic Milkbar Memories cookbook, which we dip into when we’re a bit homesick. Now let me tell you a little about my spicy pork mince pie recipe.
Spicy Pork Mince Pie Recipe Made with Cambodian Prahok Ktis
This spicy pork mince pie recipe was inspired by Cambodia’s beloved prahok ktis (or more correctly, prahok k’tis), a rich dip eaten with a combination of crunchy raw vegetables and blanched or steamed vegetables. The spicy pork mince pie is filled with minced pork, coconut cream, pea eggplants, and prahok (fermented fish paste).
One of our favourite Cambodian dishes, prahok ktis also becomes a favourite of many food-loving travellers to Cambodia. Made with stir-fried pork, pea eggplants, prahok, yellow kroeung (a kroeung is a Cambodian herb and spice paste), some chillies, and coconut milk, our prahok ktis recipe is as authentic as they get and it makes a fantastic filling for this spicy pork mince pie.
Tips for Making this Spicy Pork Mince Pie Recipe Made with Cambodian Prahok Ktis
Just a few notes on our minced pie recipe. As prahok ktis is normally eaten as a dip with a combination of steamed or crispy raw vegetables it has a decent amount of oil in it that comes from coconut cream. While you could cook out the moisture, that’s not a great idea, because you don’t want the meat too dry.
It’s best to carry as little of the oil over to the filling. When refrigerated, the oil will be visible in the container. In order for the pie casings not to seep during cooking you can be careful not to take too much oil into the pie fillings.
When cooking the prahok ktis mixture, make sure that you’re comfortable with the amount of prahok that’s in your minced pork mixture. Some Cambodians have told us that you shouldn’t be able to taste the prahok – in the same way you can’t taste anchovies in a puttanesca sauce.
We think this is really just pandering to tourist tastes as most Cambodians we know adore the funkiness of fermented fish. However, I’ve found that it’s best to back off a little if you’re using this ingredient for the first time, unless you want a really funky pie.
As usual when baking with shortcrust and puff pastry doughs, I turn the A/C down to 20˚C before starting on the pie pastry. While it’s easy to work with the puff pastry (you’re basically working with a single circle of dough), the shortcrust pastry has to be moulded into the pie tin. Don’t worry if it splits or you need to add more pastry to create the overlap over the edges of the tin. It’s easy to add to or fix the dough.
Spicy Pork Mince Pie Recipe
- 375 g minced pork
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp yellow kroeung
- 1 tbsp tamarind water
- 1 tsp palm sugar
- 3 medium dried red chillis - soaked for 15 minutes in hot water
- 1 tbsp prahok sach - chopped finely
- 125 ml coconut cream
- 35 g pea eggplants
- 4 Kaffir lime leaves - centre vein removed and chopped finely
- 2 sheets shortcrust pastry frozen - 25.5 cm square
- 1 sheet puff pastry frozen - 25.5 cm square
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- Dry roast the pea eggplants over medium heat until the exterior is wrinkled and slightly blackened. I like to add a couple of lightly crushed birds-eye chillis to the pan and keep the pan moving.
- In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, add half of the coconut cream and the pea eggplants.
- Add the kroeung and mix through thoroughly, then add the pork mince.
- Cook the mince through then add the prahok, palm sugar and tamarind water. Chop up the chillis and add to the mix.
- Add a little more of the coconut cream, stir and taste. If it’s too sour you can now add more palm sugar, if the flavours are not coming through enough, add a pinch of salt.
- Add half of the kaffir lime leaves and stir through.
- After allowing to cool, place in a plastic container refrigerate for at least 2 hours to overnight for better results.
- When you’re ready to make the pies, remove the shortcrust pastry from the freezer and allow to thaw a little.
- Using a pastry cutter, cut 4, 14 cm rounds. Lightly grease the pie tins and place the shortcrust pastry into the tins, working away from the centre. You should have around 1 cm of pastry hanging over the edges. Refrigerate the pie tins for at least two hours to firm up the pastry.
- After two hours, remove the puff pastry from the freezer and allow to thaw a little.
- Take the container of prahok ktis out of the fridge. We need to now separate the excess oil from the meat. The oil should be visible in your container. Discard the oil as excess oil may cause the pie casings to go soggy.
- Remove the pie tins from the fridge and fill each pie tin with the prahok ktis. Baste the overhanging pastry with the beaten egg.
- Cut the puff pastry sheets into 12.5 cm rounds and place each on top of each pie tin. Fold the shortcrust pastry over the puff pastry and seal all around. You can use the back of a fork and go around the top to ensure the seal is good.
- Make a small incision in the centre of each pie to form an air vent. Brush the top of the pie with more beaten egg, being careful to not cover the air vent. Place the pies back in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200˚C with a baking tray on the centre rack.
- When ready remove the pies from fridge and place on the baking tray. Cook for 10-12 minutes at which time the top should be lightly golden.
- Reduce the heat to 180˚C and cook for another 10 minutes to ensure the centre of the pie is hot. If the tops of the pies start to look too golden brown, you can place a sheet of aluminium foil on top of the pies.
- When done, allow to cool slightly before eating.
Do let us know if you make this spicy pork mince pie recipe made with Cambodian prahok k’tis as we’d love to know how it turns out for you.