Got red curry paste in the pantry but not sure what to cook? Check out today’s recipe video and instructions for dry stir fried crispy pork (aka moo grob pad prik gaeng) in red curry paste!
Here’s an easy recipe that calls for dry stir frying crispy pork (or another protein of your choice), an alternative to make curry. The recipe is quick, easy, and you can modify the meat, vegetables included. Since the recipe doesn’t require much coconut milk, this dish can be a great option if you don’t have any coconut milk, or if you need to quickly finish coconut milk leftover from another recipe.
Keep in mind crispy pork is salty already. That means you can go lighter on the seasoning than you might with another protein. Also, because of the saltiness, the recipe is incomplete if not eaten over rice. Finally, to enjoy Thai style, serve your stir fry with a tray of veggies and fresh leaves to help with the spice, saltiness, and to aid with digestion.
Pad Prik Gaeng Ingredients
120g crispy pork
3 tbsp of coconut milk (substitute stock or water if needed)
1 tbsp of coconut water (optional)
1 tbsp of red curry paste
1 tsp of palm sugar
2 tbsp of oyster sauce
1 tbsp of fish sauce
1 large red chili (Serrano or similar)
2 kaffir lime leaves sliced short and thin (set aside a bit for garnish before serving)
1/2 cup of Thai basil leaves (aka sweet basil)
Pad Prik Gaeng Instructions
Briefly toast your curry paste in a non stick wok over medium to low heat.
Add a tbsp of coconut milk and mix before adding crispy pork.
Stir until the pork is covered with curry paste evenly, then add your kaffir lime leaf and chili. Don’t forget to add more coconut milk or a few splashes of coconut water to keep your wok from burning.
Add your seasoning (palm sugar, fish sauce, and oyster sauce).
Turn off the heat and add a handful of basil leaves. Stir until wilted.
Garnish and serve over rice.
Red Curry Questions and Answers
As always, leave a comment and let us know if you have any questions not listed below.
Do I have to use red curry paste?
No. This recipe is suitable for other Thai curry pastes you have on hand as well. We recommend trying it with any curry paste you love.
Is it wrong if I have a lot of curry sauce on my stir fry?
No. Some people prefer more sauce with their stir fry. Just be careful not to make your fried protein soggy by not adding too much liquid at once.
What is a good substitute to kaffir lime leaf?
Kaffir lime leaf and skin in Thai food is nearly impossible to replicate. However, you can still give your food a citrus spike by zesting a regular lime.
What type of Thai basil should be used?
The basil adds a nice fragrance and a touch of relief from the spiciness of the dish. However, if you don’t have Thai basil, don’t let that stop you. You don’t have to be too picky about the type of Thai basil. Sweet basil is the most common, but for our recipe we mixed in some holy basil as well. This really depends on your personal preference and which herbs you can access.
How should I substitute palm sugar?
Palm sugar is less sweet than your common white sugar. When using a substitute add it more conservatively, taste, and adjust as needed. Since palm sugar also has a bit of caramelized taste, jaggery (made from sugarcane) or other natural sugar make better choices than white sugar.
Like so many of you, we are stuck indoors lately because of quarantine guidelines. As a social enterprise offering face to face cooking classes in Bangkok, we’ve mostly been shut down as tourism has been crippled since late February. However, we’re still doing what we can to support our community, and today we’d like to make your day brighter with some of our favorite, easy to do Thai recipes.
When we think about quick and versatile recipes, fried rice is pretty high in the ranks. You can adapt any ingredients you want, add pretty much any protein, and it’s unctuous and familiar enough to please the entire family. Even seasoning is easy. This recipe keeps it simple, using only soy sauce which is often already in your kitchen cabinet.
Let’s have at it, but to kick things up a notch we’d like to suggest the extra option of using a Thai curry paste in your recipe. The paste will lend color, spice, and excitement to the regular old fried rice you’ve made one too many times in the first few weeks of quarantine.
150g of the protein of your choice (chicken or tofu work great)
1 cup of cooked rice
2 cloves of garlic minced
4 small shallots (or 2-3 tbsp of other diced onion)
3 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup of vegetables (Your choice. Thai eggplants are great if you have them but even frozen or canned vegetable mixes also work)
Optional: A handful of sweet basil (about half a cup, Italian basil can be substituted)
How to Make Green Curry Fried Rice
Start by washing and slicing everything. For your tougher herbs and veggies, get a rolling bowl going in a pot so they can be blanched. Blanch, cool, and set aside.
Tap some oil into your pan and toast your curry paste until fragrant.
Add your protein of choice, stirring over medium heat until brown. For tender proteins like shrimp, cook and set aside. Also remember you can add a little water or stock if your curry gets too dry.
As your proteins mostly cooked, add aromatic herbs and vegetables. This is the best time, for example, to add garlic, shallots, diced carrots, mushrooms, or other veg of your choice. Let your meat finish cooking, and vegetables become tender and covered in curry paste before proceeding.
Add your rice and mix. When making more than one portion, be careful not to add so much rice that you overfill your wok.
Add your soy sauce. Stir, taste, and adjust if needed.
Maneuver your fried rice to one side of the pan, leaving space to crack your egg. Tilt the pan so the side with the egg is directly over the heat and scramble.
Once the egg is cooked, mix with the rest of your rice. Add a handful of sweet basil and turn off the heat.
Stir until the basil wilts, and serve.
Thai Pork Ball Soup (Thom Jeud)
Often this warming soup is one of the first defenses when you’re not feeling well. The soup varies from one Thai household to the next, so there are endless varieties. Use that knowledge as license to take some liberties with the recipe, making use of what you have on hand. We make and fill the soup with pork balls, but you can use chicken or create a vegetarian version. Finally, the soup reheats well and can be either a side dish in a fantastic meal or the main dish itself.
Soup Ingredients (serves 4)
1 liter of chicken or pork stock (about 4 cups)
1 cup of chopped cabbage
1 large carrot, sliced bite sized
1 packet of egg tofu, sliced
2 tbsp of soy sauce
400g minced pork
⅓ cup of carrot diced small
1 cup of chopped glass noodles
2 stalks of chopped spring onions (remember to set a tbsp or so aside to use as a garnish when serving)
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
½ tsp palm sugar
How to Make Thai Pork Ball Soup (Thom Jeud)
Prep your vegetables. You can blanch carrots or other tough vegetables in advance to save time. (To make the soup extra filling parboiled potatoes are a hearty addition).
Slice your glass noodles small.
Mix glass noodles, spring onion and your chopped carrots with the pork in a bowl.
Season with oyster sauce, fish sauce, palm sugar, and soy sauce then make small meatballs
Boil your stock.
Add your meatballs, and when mostly cooked, add your carrot, cabbage, any other veg.
As they soften, lower the heat and add 2 tbsp of soy sauce. If this doesn’t seem like much seasoning remember your meatballs will be contributing lots of flavor to the soup as well.
Taste and add more soy sauce as needed.
Finally, add your egg tofu, turn off the heat, and stir gently.
Garnish with remaining spring onion before serving.
Kid’s Pad Thai with Instant Noodles
Finally we can’t forget about the kids. They’re home and seemingly always hungry. Take them on a journey in the kitchen using basic ingredients. This is a departure from a more typical pad thai, but we make it often for our Courageous Kitchen kids and everyone loves it!
Stir frying is a quarantine cook’s best friend. When you can throw everything you’re cooking up in one wok, all your dish washers will be pleased as well. So grab your biggest non-stick pan and get ready to make one of Thailand’s most loved noodle stir fries!
1 handful of blanched Chinese kale, broccoli, or the veg of your choice
A small handful of bean sprouts (can omit or substitute with micro-greens)
2 tbsp of pad thai sauce
1 tbsp of oil for stir frying
How to Make Pad Thai for Kids
Blanch any vegetables you want to add by dipping into boiling water for a few minutes (for Chinese kale this usually takes about one minute in boiling water).
Remove from the boiling water and add to ice water to stop the vegetables from cooking, and preserve the fresh color.
Use the same boiling water now to quickly boil your noodles. Most instant noodles will only take 1-2 minutes to become soft. Set aside.
Add oil to your wok or non stick pan. Follow with your chicken and cook until the color changes.
Add your vegetables to your cooked chicken, along with tofu. Stir quickly to heat the vegetables up.
Now add your cooked instant noodles and mix well.
Add bean sprouts and your pad thai sauce.
Mix everything and push to the side of the pan, away from the heat. In the hot portion of the pan crack and scramble your egg, stirring vigorously until cooked.
Once the egg is cooked, mix with all of the other ingredients and turn off the heat.
Stay safe and eat well during this extended quarantine period. While we hope everything gets back to normal soon, we’ll continuously be thinking about new ways to share our love of people and compassion for communities with you online in days to come.
Want to make a similar spicy green curry paste to the ones you tried in Thailand? This takes some practice and patience, but it’s possible. Everyone’s kitchen and tastes are different so an exact recipe is also tough. Today we tackle these challenges and hope to encourage more people around the world to make their own curry pastes. Lovers of green curry, let’s raise the bar of this delicious curry.
One promise we can make, fresh curry paste is ALWAYS better than the packaged kind.
Green Curry Paste Components
Early warning: making your own curry paste can be a mess. If you’re not in Thailand you don’t likely have all the tools you need for the job. Many folks based in cities in Thailand, may not even have space in their kitchen. However, if you have can figure out a method to pound, grind, and blend all of these ingredients together you can make a colorful, nutrient packed curry paste to share with your family.
Most Thai curry pastes are a mix of the following:
(1) dry spices
(3) aromatic roots
(4) fresh herbs
(5) shrimp paste
Curry Paste Crushing and Pounding Tools
Your mission then, is to decide how best to combine all of those ingredients together. Thais traditionally use a mortar and pestle. They are made from heavy granite and when you give them plenty of elbow grease, they’re great at pounding these varied types of ingredients into a paste. In a modern kitchen you may not have this as an option. So you need to find whatever you can to crush the dry spices, and others you can put in a food processor or blender. Here are some options:
Traditional Thai mortar and pestle Spice grinder + blender/ food processor Large rock + blender / food processor
Large rock? Are you serious. Yes! There have been occasions when cooking for people while traveling, where I haven’t had everything I needed to crush spices. If that happens, feel free to go flintstone on these spices. Whatever you gotta do, dinner must go on! Just be sure to wash the rock well and have a suitable surface you can pulverize thing on. The best curry mortars are made of stone after all! Once back to my regular kitchen, I appreciated the hand chiseled granite from Angsila, Thailand so much more.
Remember when you read the recipe below that your rock or spice grinder is mainly for your dry spices. Depending on your machine, you may need some practice getting the paste to be the consistency you desire. This is normal, and you can even add a bit of water or stock if things are getting caught in your machine. If you’re doing it for the first time, I would suggest you don’t blend too smooth.
That sorted? If you still have questions you can comment below. After the recipe, we’ve provided some trouble shooting questions people ask regularly. We hope this helps you make a more authentic green curry. If you enjoy, your support of Courageous Kitchen via our donation pages is much appreciated.
Green Curry Paste Ingredients
Dry spices 1 tsp peppercorn (white peppercorn is most common, but any will do) 1 tsp cumin 1 tbsp coriander seed
Chili 5-10 small spicy Thai green chili (spice lovers can hunt for the “prik kee noo”) 5-10 green medium to large chili (“prik chee fah”, serrano or similar) 1 tbsp of salt (optional if grinding by hand)
Roots 3-4 coriander roots 1 knob of galangal 1 knob of turmeric Note: 1 knob for this purpose is roughly 30-40 grams or 2-3 tablespoons if using the powdered form.
Herbs 4-8 garlic cloves 4-6 shallots (small, sweet ones preferred) 1 tbsp of kaffir lime zest (about half of a kaffir lime) 2-3 lemongrass stalks sliced small
Shrimp Paste 1 heaping tbsp of shrimp paste
Green Curry Paste Instructions
Toast your dry spices. (Optionally any of your roots can be toasted at this time as well.)
Grind your dry spices and set aside.
If pounding by hand, grind your chili in the mortar with salt. After smooth begin adding all other ingredients, including dry spices gradually.
If using a blender combine everything, adding stock or a small amount of coconut milk to help the paste blend together.
Store your curry paste in an airtight container in the fridge or get cooking with a green curry recipe right away.
Fresh green curry paste oxidizes quickly and won’t look vibrant for long. If you don’t plan to use the paste the same day, pan fry with oil and then keep in an airtight container. In the refrigerator, this can last as long as a month.
What if I don’t have a spice grinder or rock (lol)?
Don’t forget you can get coriander, peppercorn and cumin in powder form. The reason we prefer the whole spice is because the flavor is more intense, especially after toasting. However, work with what you have and make sure they are incorporated well into your paste.
What can I make with my curry paste besides curry?
Feel free to get creative with your green curry paste. You can use it as a marinade. You can use it to make a spicy sauce to cover steak. One of our favorites? Green curry fried rice!
Can I just dump everything into the mortar or blender?
We see people using the dump method. But depending on the texture you want at the end, we don’t always recommend it for beginners. Adding your ingredients gradually allows you to make sure things incorporate smoothly and you can add or adjust flavors as needed. Then when you’ve made the curry a bunch of times and know what you love (or what your blender can handle), you can take liberties with how you add the ingredients.
Can I use a marble mortar and pestle?
Found a small mortar and pestle in the kitchen store? This is likely used for dry spices and medicine. You can use it to start your curry paste, but you don’t want to be trying to crush things like lemongrass in there because it will likely take forever. I would use it to crush your dry spice, and then move everything to a food processor or blender.
I can’t find coriander root. Can I substitute the coriander stems or add bell pepper?
People use leaves and stems to help with the color (shouldn’t be needed for this recipe), but it isn’t a good substitute for the flavor of the root. If you go without it, try upping the amount of toasted coriander seeds you add.
If you need to use milder chilies and peppers you can. Just be aware the flavor and water content of them (bell pepper for instance) will change the nature of the paste.
Do you use the same paste for different types of meat?
You can use this generic recipe for any meat. However, if you’re cooking fish, beef, or game meat, we may increase the dried spices and also add more root aromatics. The best part of making your curry paste is the ability to customize it as needed. When Thai chefs customize the curry to the protein, for example adding extra fingerroot when cooking with fish, that’s a sign of next level expertise!
Why is my green curry so light green?
Typically the curry will come out light green. If you want a stronger color, this is really the purpose of the knob of turmeric as an ingredient. You can add more to intensify the green, but be careful it doesn’t start going orange. Turmeric, like the other roots Thais love, is also very healthy for you.
If you’ve seen Netflix’s Chef Show, you may have seen them add the coriander stems, basil, and all sorts of stuff to make it green. Yes, this is possible, but not what we recommend, nor how it’s done it Thailand. That method is more of a quick trick in the kitchen when you’re in a panic and need curry.
Is there a substitute for galangal?
No. There is no substitute for galangal. However, if you can’t find it fresh you can use the dried kind.
Many people make the mistake of thinking ginger is interchangeable. They are not. You can use ginger if you have no other option, but it will change the flavor. This is no major sin though, as ginger is used in some types of curry pastes. However, when using it for the first time, be conservative. The flavor and spice level may surprise you, as it can be more pronounced than roots like galangal and turmeric.
Similar to people adding green leaves to improve the color of your curry, you can do it, but it will require trial and error if you’re chasing a real Thai style curry flavor.
How can I store my fresh curry paste? Can I freeze it?
Your fresh paste won’t last too much longer than a few days in the fridge. Green curry paste especially has a habit of oxidizing even after only a few hours in the fridge (we should be very afraid of the store-bought pastes that last forever and never change color). To extend the life beyond a week, pan fry the curry paste with a few tablespoons of oil. Then spoon it into a jar or sealed container and store in your refrigerator for as long as a month.
You can freeze your paste as well. But don’t expect the thawed version to be as flavorful. To remedy this, refresh your paste with freshly pounded or grounded aromatics (like chili, garlic, and shallots). We prefer it fresh, but this can be a big timesaver when you have made more paste than you can use easily.
Will my green curry paste be ruined if I’m missing an ingredient?
No. Overall curry paste if pretty forgiving and tolerant of lots of variations. The exception would be when working in a restaurant or cooking for Thai guests. Then you want to make your best efforts to create a traditional curry. If you’re just spicing up dinner for your family, go full on into this project with the spirit of exploration, not fear.
The past few weeks have been a trying time for everyone around the world. Wherever you are reading from, we do wish you good health and would like to share our concern and condolences to anyone who has been directly impacted by the corona virus Covid-19.
At the moment we have few guests or activities planned. However, if you do have a cooking class booked, we want to make sure everyone is aware, we consider your health, and the health of our staff is of the utmost importance.
As an organization whose mission is so closely tied to the handling and cooking of food, we are well prepared to make sure we maintain a safe working and learning environment. We need your help to continue to follow the best practices during this time, and support organizations like ours that work with communities particularly vulnerable to viral disease.
This includes our regular hygienic equipment: * Air conditioning * Air purifier * Anti-bacterial soap * Water filtering and purifying
Our regular hygiene practices: * Sanitizing surfaces * Soap at every sink (there’s 3!) * Limited class size
And new policies: * Postponed or canceled gatherings with over 10 people * No new volunteers will be accepted * Refusing guests with symptoms of illness or poor hygiene * Refunding guests as necessary (minus any booking fees) * Providing more online recipes and cooking courses for you (if you have a request let us know!)
To limit the spread of the virus we may need to refuse service to guests or refund guests who are unable to visit due to travel restrictions. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this causes.
Like so many people around the world, we’re still trying to wrap our minds around going from daily cooking classes to only a few a month. Our social enterprise is crippled, but we hope to one day get it roaring again. If you would like to help through donations, they would be greatly appreciated and put to use helping those in need.
In the meantime, we will still be working with marginalized youth and their families in small groups. As there is often poor information in these communities, we’re hoping to teach people and prevent the spread of the virus to their communities. Otherwise, we will be testing recipes and hopefully sharing more pdf and video resources so that you can join us in cooking delicious Thai food wherever you may be.
Thank you for your understanding, be safe, and let us know if you’ve got a Thai recipe request that would brighten your day!
Whether stir frying or making curry paste, sauces matter when cooking your favorite asian recipes! But what can you substitute for fish sauce and shrimp paste if you’re cooking for someone who can’t have them?
If it’s your first time here, welcome to Courageous Kitchen. In our cooking classes in Bangkok, we specialize in helping guests cook their favorite Thai dishes. One of our biggest duties is helping everyone to work around any dietary restrictions they may have. Here are a few of the questions we hear most often, but if you have more, please let us know.
Does vegan fish sauce exist?
Yes, it’s called soy sauce! Soy sauce is amazing and comes in several brands and varieties. You may need to experiment some to find the ones you enjoy best, and expect brands from different countries to vary widely.
What’s the difference between light and dark soy sauce?
Light soy sauce usually refers to the most common type of soy sauce which has a thin consistency. Dark soy sauce is darker, thicker and pretty much its own beast.
Typically dark soy sauce is cloying and has a bitter after taste. Although we refer to it as ‘soy sauce’ it is mostly made of molasses. Typically to make it thick some sort of wheat flour is added which makes finding a gluten free version tough.
Is there a soy free alternative to soy sauce?
Your best soy free alternative would be using a high quality salt.
We also see coconut aminos recommended, but haven’t found them to be widely available.
Are there gluten free soy sauce options?
We are also starting to see more gluten free version of soy sauce become available. We have spotted Megachef with gluten free packaging in the US, and even in Thailand brands like the Healthy Boy Brand. With all of these purchases, be sure to check the labels. The Megachef brand is gluten free and made from non GMO soy beans. However, the gluten free Healthy Boy Brand sauce does not include wheat flour of course, but MSG (mono sodium glutamate) is included among the ingredients.
Is there a vegan alternative to shrimp paste?
If you’re buying curry paste or making your own, you may often find shrimp paste included as an ingredient. One way to replace that salty and umami taste that shrimp paste adds is to substitute in fermented soy paste or miso.
Also we are starting to see some vegetarian shrimp paste alternatives come to the market, but have not seen them widely available.
What are the best curry pastes for people with dietary restrictions?
There are so many curry pastes available on the market, so this is difficult to make a recommendation. If you can find it, we do recommend the WorldFoods Brand of curry pastes because they’re available around the world and have more than just green and red curry options. They typically meet most dietary restrictions as well, including being MSG-free, gluten free, and certified halal. However, our best suggestion is to always check the ingredients listed on the packet you find.
Of course, making your own curry paste is always the best option if you have time. Not only can you dictate which ingredients to use, we believe you’ll find a noticeable difference in the taste from the fresh spices.
What other vegan seasoning do you recommend?
We love using liquid aminos, liquid smoke, and nutritional yeast to create the meat free variations of our favorite asian and western dishes. If you stir fry often, remember you can create a premade vegan stir fry sauce to cut down on your prep time in the kitchen.
If you cook vegan food often you also always want to have great spices on hand. This means keeping your favorite fragrant dry spices like different types of pepper, star anise, and cinnamon. You’re well served to have fresh herbs like lemongrass, ginger, garlic, and shallots as well.
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