18 Feb Thai pork rib curry
Those of you who’ve been following my blog for a while will know I love curries. This weekend I decided to try out a spicy pork rib curry from my Lonely Planet Thailand recipe book. We’ve a few of these Lonely Planet From the Source books, they’re fantastic for authentic local recipes direct from the chefs themselves. Arranged by geographical region, each chapter begins with a map locating where the recipe comes from – whether that’s a street food stall, high end restaurant, local dive and anything in between.
Today’s dish is courtesy of Khun Pong Thammavisooth. His restaurant Rhythm is located in Krabi, Southern Thailand. As Khun’s main business is in supplying high quality frozen meats to hotels, resorts and restaurants, his friend thought he would be the perfect partner to set up a restaurant with. They serve a mix of Western and Thai dishes, of course featuring high quality meats.
Spicy pork rib curry, or kaeng phrik seekhong muu, should be salty, spicy and served with rice. Unlike many southern Thai curries, this one uses a broth reduction instead of coconut milk to thicken the sauce. The recipe given makes more curry paste than you need for one meal. Since you only use 1 tablespoon of paste, freeze the rest for the next time you fancy curry ribs! Same goes for the pork broth. The original recipe says to pound the paste for 30-60mins and much as I would love to be traditional, I neither have a pestle and mortar nor the patience for that so in the blender it goes for me! Ingredients like the dried chillies, fresh turmeric and shrimp paste are widely available in asian supermarkets. Here is the method:
Serves 2 – Preparation 1 hr – Cooking time 1 hr
500g pork ribs
1 tsp shrimp paste
3 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp palm or brown sugar
6 kaffir lime leaves, torn
50 dried Thai chillies
1 head garlic, chopped
3 shallots, chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh turmeric
2 lemongrass stalks, trimmed and sliced into thin strips
2 tbsp black peppercorns
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp shrimp paste
- Add the ribs to a large pot, cover with water and boil for 1 hour. Skim off any impurities which rise to the surface. Drain the ribs through a colander into a bowl. Set aside both the ribs and broth.
- Soak the dried chillies in a bowl of water for 15 minutes. Drain, remove the stalks and seeds if you prefer it to be milder.
- Add the cut dried chillies, garlic, shallots, turmeric, lemongrass, peppercorns, shrimp paste and salt to a blender and mix. You’re aiming for as smooth a paste as possible.
- Heat 250ml of the pork broth in a medium saucepan or wok at medium high, keeping the rest in the fridge/freezer for another dish. Add a heaped tablespoon of the curry paste and stir until fully dissolved. Add the ribs then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for about 20 minutes. Next in are the shrimp paste, fish sauce, sugar and kaffir lime leaves. Continue to cook for 5 minutes until the curry has reduced to a thick dark red sauce. Turn off the heat and serve with hot steamed rice.
I had great fun making this! When cutting the dried chillies, it helps to shake the seeds out in water so they don’t fly everywhere. Next time I’ll keep some of the seeds in as the curry was quite mild without. I’d advise caution though if you’re trying dried chillies for the first time or a new variety!
Let me know if you give it a try! Send me photos or tag me on instagram and please give this post a thumbs up if you enjoyed it. See you next week for more food adventures!