Saturday, July 18, 2009

Rat for Dinner : Recipe

Recipe for ground rat meat and chili paste:


* 1/4 cup fish oil
* 1/4 cup vegetable oil
* 1-1/2 cups of dried red chili peppers
* 4 long green peppers
* 8 large bay leaves
* 1/2 cup holy basil leaf
* 1 tablespoon salt
* 4 chopped garlic cloves
* 4 small rats

Initial Preparation:

* With a mortar and pestle place the 1-1/2 cups of dried red chili peppers, and begin to mash until a red paste is achieved. Add a tablespoon of water to make moist.
* Chop garlic cloves.
* Place bay leaves in a small bowl of water. Roll two bay leaves at a time and then thinly shred and place in dry dish. Do for all 8 leaves - two at a time.
* Place holy basil leaves in a small bowl of water.
* Dice long green peppers. Do small cross sections so look like wheels and place in dry dish.
* Skin 4 small rats. Clean and place heart and liver in separate bowl.

Cooking preparations:

* Place oil in a wok over an open flame and heat
* Place small rats in a grate, and lightly cook over an open flame on both sides until medium cooked. Do not cook well done.
* Mix red chili paste with hot oil and stir well.
* Finely chop rats on a wood chopping block over and over until makes a smooth ground meat texture. Be sure to chop all the bones well.
* Add chopped rat meat to the red chili paste and oil and stir well.
* Add diced green peppers and stir well. Let cook for 5 minutes.
* Add 1/2 tablespoon of salt.
* Add whole liver and heart and sir in.
* Add holy basil leaves to mixture and stir in well and let cook for another 5 minutes. Be sure not to burn the chili paste - add a little water if necessary to keep moist but not runny.
* Add chopped garlic cloves
* Add shredded bay leaves and stir in and cover and let simmer for 5 minutes or more to let all the flavors mix well.


Serve ground rat meat on an oval dish with livers and heart on the top. Circle with garnish of basil leaves and halves of lime. Serve with white rice. The flavor will be hot and tangy with a mild crunchy chew to it. It is not to be considered the main dish, but a nice hot and spicy accent to other prepared dishes. Very good on crackers, but Thais do not generally eat crackers. Recipe would not go over well in Peoria, Illinois or Davenport, Iowa.

Willard Van De Bogart


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