Easy Green Curry with Pork
Gkaeng Kiow Wan Moo (or Kaeng Kiew Wan Moo)*
A Recipe of Kasma Loha-unchit
Recipe Copyright © 1995 Kasma Loha-unchit.
(Click image to see larger version.)
- 2 cups or 1 14-oz. can coconut milk
- 2-3 Tbs. green curry paste
- 1 lb. pork, cut against the grain of the muscle into bite-size strips about 2 x 1 x 1/4 in.
- 1/2 lb. small, round Thai eggplants (ma-keua bprawh), cut in halves or quarters, or substitute with 2 long Asian eggplants, cut in bite-size chunks
- 1/2 cup small pea eggplants (ma-keua puang), or substitute with shelled fresh peas (Drawing =>)
- 2 kaffir lime leaves (bai ma-gkrood)
- Fish sauce (nahm bplah) to taste (see Cooking to Taste)
- 2 tsp. palm sugar, or to taste
- 1/2 to 1 cup fresh Thai sweet basil leaves and flowers (bai horapa)
- Slivered chillies, to desired hotness
Do not shake the can of coconut milk before opening, so that the cream remains on top. Spoon about 2/3 cup of this thick cream into a medium-size saucepan and heat over medium to high heat. Reduce until smooth and bubbly and until oil begins to separate from the cream. Add the curry paste and fry in the cream for a few minutes to release the aromas. Then pour in the remaining milk.
Bring to a boil and add the pork. Return to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5-10 minutes uncovered before adding the Thai eggplants and pea eggplants. Simmer a few minutes more, then stir in the peas (if using instead of pea eggplants) and kaffir lime leaves. Season to taste with fish sauce (may not be needed if the curry paste is already salted). Add palm sugar to balance and enhance the spice and herb flavors to your liking. Continue to simmer until eggplants and peas are tender. Stir in the basil and chillies (as desired for added hotness) and cook another minute. Serve hot over plain steamed rice.
Kasma's Notes and Pointers for Green Curry:
The preferred canned coconut milk for this recipe is Chao Koh and Kasma's preferred curry paste is Mae Ploy – found in plastic tubs in many Asian Markets. (Kasma's Favorite Brands.)
There are many kinds of small eggplants in Thailand. Round ones the size of tomatillas, which we call ma-keua bprawh, are very good in this curry. Deeper green on top and graduating to a lighter bottom, these are seedy eggplants and taste nothing like the large purple aubergines. Cooked until softened, they soak in the curry flavors and add a thickness to the sauce. Other smaller members of the eggplant family are ma-keua puang and resemble large green peas, though their taste is entirely different. (See drawing above.) They are bitter, but when simmered in the curry sauce they impart an extraordinary roundedness to the sauce. Much of their bitter bite dissipates when they have completely softened with sufficient cooking. Both these eggplants are available in Thai and Southeast Asian markets, especially during the warmer months of the year, though the latter is usually harder to find. Specialty produce markets and gourmet supermarkets have also started to carry them.
Using this recipe, a red curry can be easily made by substituting a red curry paste and cut-up boneless chicken. For a fabulous roasted duck curry, buy a roasted duck the next time you visit the Chinatown near your home and use it instead of the pork. Toward the end of cooking, skim off the fat that has cooked out of the duck and add two small, firm and still slightly green tomatoes, cut in bite-size wedges.
You might enjoy learning how to Cook Thai food from Kasma in a Thai cooking class.
Kasma teaches this recipe in the Evening Series Beginning Class #1 and a similar recipe (with salmon) in the Weeklong Class Beginning/Intermediate, day 1. Also see Michael's blog on Basil Pork – Moo Pad Kaprao.
*Because the Thai language has its own script, there are different ways of transliterating Thai into English. The more phonetic version is Gkaeng Kiow Wan Moo; the more usual spelling is Kaeng Kiew Wan Moo. See A Note on Thai Pronunciation and Spelling.
Offsite: Easy Thai Green Curry Recipe, an Interview with Kasma Loha-unchit, and Musings on Thai Curry Pastes. (Opens in new page.)