Pork and Squash in Coconut Milk

Pork and Squash in Coconut Milk

1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 pounds boneless pork, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 large onion, sliced
1 pound butternut squash or sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
1 can coconut milk, about 1 1/2 cups
3 tablespoons nam pla (fish sauce) or salt to taste
Juice of a lime, or more to taste
Chopped cilantro for garnish, optional.

1. Place oil in large skillet or casserole. Turn heat to medium-high. When oil is hot, add pork. Cook without stirring until pork is nicely browned on one side, about 5 minutes.

2. Add onion, and stir. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add squash, coconut milk and 2 tablespoons nam pla or soy sauce (or a big pinch of salt), and stir. Bring to a boil. Turn heat to low, cover and simmer about 40 minutes, or until pork is tender but not dry.

3. Uncover, and add remaining nam pla; or taste, and add salt if needed. If mixture is too loose for your taste, raise heat to high and reduce it until it thickens. Stir in lime juice, then garnish with cilantro, and serve.

Yield: 4 servings.

Variation: Substitute 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs for the pork. The cooking time will be as little as 15 minutes from the time you add the coconut milk. Or use 8 bone-in thighs, skin removed; the simmering time will be about 30 minutes.

Adapted from: Mark Bittman in The New York Times
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