So pork is dull and boring says one ongoing thread on LJ. Herewith then one of my favourite Thai curries. This is one of few Thai curries not including coconut milk that I really like. This is the recipe I pinched from Madhur Jaffrey and it's very good. I've seen other versions that may well be more authentic. See after the recipe.Gaeng Hang LaeIngredients
For the curry paste:
3-8 dried hot red chillies, depending on hotness required
2cm cube fresh or 5 slices dried galangal or 2cm fresh ginger
2 sticks fresh or 2 tbsp dried sliced lemongrass
90g shallots or onions
10 large cloves garlic
1 tsp shrimp paste
1 tbsp ground coriander seeds
2tsp ground cumin seeds
½ tsp ground turmeric
You also need:
875g boneless pork, cut into 4cm cubes
1½tbsp Japanese soy sauce (shoyu) (or use dark Chinese soy)
3 x 2.5cm cubes fresh ginger
10-12 shallots or small pickling onions
10-15 small cloves garlic
2 or more tbsp tamarind paste or lemon juice
2 or more tbsp dark brown sugar
1. First make the curry paste. Put 250ml water into a small bowl and crumble the dried red chillies into it. If using dried galangal and dried lemongrass, add them to the water as well. Leave the dried ingredients to soak for 30 minutes.
2. If you are using fresh galangal or ginger, peel and coarsely chop it. If you are using fresh lemongrass cut it into very fine slices crossways, starting from the bottom and going up the stalk about 15cm, discard the strawlike top. Peel the shallots and garlic and chop them coarsely.
3. When the dry seasonings have finished soaking, put them with their soaking liquid and all the other ingredients for the curry paste into an electric blender. If you are using fresh galangal or ginger or fresh lemongrass, add them to the blender now. Blend until smooth. This curry paste may be made ahead of time and even frozen.
4. Next combine the pork, curry paste and soy sauce in a bowl and marinate for 30 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, peel the ginger and cut it into very thin slices. Stack a few slices at a time together and cut them into matchstick strips. Peel the shallots and the garlic, leaving them whole.
6. Put the pork and its marinade into a wide, heavy, preferably non-stick pan, set it over a medium-low heat and bring it to a simmer. Simmer gently for 15-20 minutes or until the meat starts to release its fat. Turn the heat to medium-high. Stir and fry for about 10 minutes or until the spice mixture begins to dry out and brown.
7. Now add 450ml water, the ginger strips, the whole shallots and the whole cloves of garlic. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover and cook for 45 minutes or until the meat is tender.
8. Add the tamarind paste or lemon juice and brown sugar. Mix and taste, adding more of each if you think you need it. Add salt if desired. Cook for another 2-3 minutes to allow the flavours to develop and mingle. Serve.
My alternative recipe includes cassia bark and star anise in the curry paste. It also uses a mixture of belly pork (with skin) and blade (with bone) which sounds far more Chiang Mai style than lean boneless chunks. Further, the shallots are chopped and the whole garlic cloves are replaced with pickled garlic.
X-posted to gastrogasm