I enjoy pork but find it difficult to think of new ways of cooking it. I love Indian food and Thai food, so was delighted to find a Madhur Jaffrey recipe for Thai pork curry in her Far Eastern Cookery book. Having bought the pork fillet before deciding what to do with it, I didn’t have all the ingredients, but then I never follow recipes to the T!
This version of Thai pork curry has a similar flavour to sweet and sour Indian vindaloo curry. It can be made from any boneless pork: fillet, meat cut from the loin or shoulder, or even pork chops with the bones removed.
Red Curry Paste for Thai Pork Curry
Madhur’s recipe, which is based on Burmese-style cooking, calls for a homemade curry paste. This is made with 3-8 hot red chillies, a 2 cm cube of fresh ginger or dried galangal (you can also buy galangal minced), 2 sticks of fresh lemon grass or 2 tbsp dried sliced lemon grass, 90 g shallots or onions, 10 large cloves of garlic, 1 tsp shrimp or anchovy paste, 1 tbsp ground coriander seeds, 2 tsp ground cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp ground turmeric.
Crumble the chillies into 250 ml water and add the lemon grass and galangal if using the dry ingredients. Soak for half an hour. If using fresh galangal or ginger peel and chop it coarsely. If using fresh lemon grass, slice crossways and discard the straw-like top. Peel the shallots or onion and garlic and chop coarsely. Put all the ingredients (including the water from the dry ingredients) into a blender and blend till smooth.
Since this curry paste can be frozen, I’m going to be making some soon; but last night I used about 60 g of ready-made red Thai curry paste instead.
Other Ingredients Required
The other ingredients required are:
- 875 g boneless pork (I used one pork fillet which was about 500 g in weight) cut into 4 cm cubes
- 1 1/2 tbsp Japanese soy sauce (I used Japanese naturally fermented Tamari soy sauce)
- 3 x 2.5 cm cubes of fresh ginger (it should be young and easy to cut), peeled and cut into thin slices
- 10-12 shallots of small pickling onions cooked whole (I used bulbous spring onions trimmed and sliced)
- 10-15 small cloves of garlic, peeled
- 2 tbsp of lemon juice or tamarind paste (I used lemon juice)
- 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
- salt (I used a fractional amount of pink Himalayan salt, which was a mistake. The soy sauce is salty enough)
How to Make Thai Pork Curry
Marinate the pork in the curry paste and soy sauce for half an hour. The ready-made curry paste was rather dry so I added about 350 ml of water. After 30 minutes put the pork and marinade into a wide, heavy pan. My favourite Sola wok was absolutely perfect for this. Bring to a simmer over medium to low heat and leave to simmer gently for about 20 minutes. Increase the heat a little and stir-fry for about 10 minutes to get rid of the liquid.
Add about 450 ml of water (less if you are using less pork, as I did) together with the ginger, shallots and garlic. Bring back to a simmer; cover and cook for about 45 minutes. Add the lemon juice and sugar (next time I think I’ll use palm sugar rather than cane sugar). Mix and taste; add salt if you really have to. Cook for a couple more minutes to let the flavours blend.
Serve with brown rice and salad. Enjoy.