Servings: 4 Prep: 15 mins Cook: 15 mins Total: 30 mins
I used to live in a part of Seattle called “Fremont“, about 15 years ago. I’d bet over 10,000 people lived in the fun little neighborhood. There were pizza places, greek food restaurants, ice cream establishments, etc. However, it was undeniable that Thai restaurants were the big presence in a town billing itself as “The Center of the Universe”. At that time, there were roughly 27 Thai restaurants. I just drove through it the other day. Looks like maybe 28!
Thai restaurants and Thai food have become almond ubiquitous on the restaurant landscape. They are everywhere! Yet, somehow, the food still manages to hold a level of mystique in homes.
I remember taking classes on Asian cuisine in cooking school. The teacher was an adorable and quick talking little Chinese woman, who would CONSTANTLY say, “GGS!” Everything Chinese, it would seem, begins with “GGS!” (Ginger, Garlic, Scallion). Don’t get me wrong, Chinese food is AMAZING and possibly the richest of all culinary lore (Sorry, France!), but I tend to believe certain corners of the Chinese cuisine have been brought into most Western homes … in the form of stir-frys, fried rice, ginger-soy marinades on meat, etc.
Thai, with what feels just as strong of a grasp in the restaurant scene, doesn’t feel to have made as many inroads in the Western home kitchen. It’s a shame, too! So many amazing flavors! Let’s start cooking with these ingredients, folks. Some AMAZING flavors to be had, here!
What follows is my interpretation of a Pork Curry recipe that I would get at a favorite Thai haunt just up the street from my battered old San Francisco apartment, in the Lower Haight district. It’s thick and gloppy, while being RICH with flavors, dense with coconut milk, spicy and complicated. It’s also little more than a quick stir fry. If you have the stuff, the actual CURRY is mere minutes away. Go get the stuff!
Note: Photos taken with Miracle Caul-Rice and was cooked with a Thai Red Curry Paste.
Thai Red Pork CurryPrint Rate
- 1 each pork tenderloin roast cut into thin bite-sized strips
- 4 each garlic cloves minced
- 1 tbsp fresh galangal minced (substitution = 1 tbsp. ginger)
- 1 tsp cinnamon ground
- 1/4 tsp cloves ground
- 1/4 cup fresh red curry paste (substitution = 2 tbsp store bought)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 large japanese eggplant cut into cubes
- 1 small red bell pepper seeded and diced
- 1 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 16 leaves thai basil hand torn (substitution = regular basil)
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, mix together your pork, garlic, galangal, cinnamon, cloves, curry paste and a bit of salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Heat your largest sauté pan (or wok, if you have one!) over high heat. When the pan is hot, add your coconut oil and swirl around to coat the pan. Immediately add your red pepper peppers with a bit of salt and pepper. Sauté for about 1 minute.
- Add your eggplant to the pan and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Toss the two ingredients together, then let the mixture sit on the high heat and "sear" for a minute or two. Flip it around and let sit for one more minute.
- Sort of slide all the ingredients to one side of the pan, so about 2/3rds of the pan is totally empty. Evenly sprinkle your pork in this area and allow it to sear for about 1 minute. Toss the whole pan together and allow the ingredients to cook, sear and pick up some color (caramelize, or "turn brown") from the heat of the pan. This whole process is hot, fast and smoky, while being fun and smelling AMAZING.
- After about 2 minutes, add your coconut milk. The mixture SHOULD immediately boil rapidly. Turn the heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for about 4 to 8 minutes. The mixture should thicken, like a stew. Toss in the fresh thai basil, at the last moment. Taste and season with a bit of salt and pepper.
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11 thoughts on “Thai Red Pork Curry”
This looks MARVELOUS, DJ. I’ll be trying this out!
Thank you, Buttoni! I just had it for dinner … just last night! I LOVE having the paste in my freezer. It makes whipping up a batch of fresh curry SUPER easy to do. Let me know how it goes!
Made this last night. Added more coconut milk to make a bit more gravy and spooned it over some cauli-rice. Awesome flavor and the hubby loved it! Thanks so much!
Fantastic, Anita. Thanks for checking in and sharing! Next time I make this, I’ll check the coconut milk and see if maybe I should add a bit more. Thanks, again! 🙂
I have to say that Thai is my favorite Asian food. I have heard many say that what passes as Chinese food in this country isn’t really. Thai has so many rich flavors. I could eat it several times a week and be happy…
I’m not a big fan of eggplant, what could I use as a replacement?
Hi Susan, it’s funny … I just watched a documentary on "General Tso’s Chicken" … and it talks about the evolution of chinese food in the US. It’s very fascinating! Yep, though … the foods you find in the US are VERY Americanized versions of the authentic foods in their own countries. A Taco in Mexico is very different than a Taco at Taco Bell, for example. The same is true with most Thai or Chinese foods, as well. A lot of the same flavors, but … with techniques and ingredients to appeal to the American tastes.
Hi Heather … you could just leave it out, but I’d suggest zucchini as an alternative.
I made this last night and it is sooo spicy! How can I reduce the heat?
—Reply posted by DJ on 4/7/2017
Hi Jolene, this recipe has no additional spice (heat) other than what comes in the paste. I don’t know if you used a canned or jarred paste, or if you made your own fresh paste. Most prepared pastes are quite a bit stronger than my own fresh paste (in terms of heat). So, I’d suggest cutting back on it. However, if you made a fresh paste, then simply cut back on JUST the chilies in the paste, keeping the rest of the spices alone. Then, use a little less of the paste than the recipe calls for. You’ll still have a full flavored paste, but with less heat. I hope this helps!
Really easy tasty recipe, substituted yellow paste as I didn’t have red and green is too spicy for my husband also used zucchini and mushrooms instead of aubergine as I didn’t have any. Loved the addition of cinnamon and cloves! I was worried it would over power but it was delicious. This is going to be a regular dish in my household and I will probably stick with the yellow paste as it is mild enough for kids – Yuum
This is so good! My wife likes all curries, particularly those from SE Asia and I make her one once or twice a week. She raved about this recipe! I usually am so-so about curry, but this is one I also could enjoy frequently. Thank you!