I’ve been on a big curry kick for the last couple of weeks. As the temperatures drop off there is just something so comforting about a nice warm bowl of curry, loaded up with veggies. Growing up, I didn’t have a clue what curry was. I grew up in a household of picky eaters, and my mom didn’t dare try and get us to eat curry. Lucky for me, while I was a teenager my uncle married a Thai woman and she introduced me to all kinds of thai food. My aunt, Maew, started off with guaranteed crowd pleasers like spring rolls and wontons, and then upped the anti with green and panang curry and tom yum soup. It was love at first taste! I adored everything she made, eagerly watching over her shoulder learning to make it myself.
Fast-forward to 2015 and I went to visit my aunt and uncle in THAILAND! Oh my friends, it was amazing!!! I can’t even begin to pick a favourite part of the trip, because I LOVED. IT. ALL. … but the food was definitely something I’ll never forget. From preparing “farang style” (Thai word for foreigner … aka not so spicy!) panang curry with my aunt in her traditional Thai style kitchen …
…. to enjoying a traditional Thai meal oceanside …
… and going out for Korean BBQ – Thai Style! The food was awesome!
Seriously it was just the best trip! Thanks to my aunt I have a real treat for you today, because I am going to share everything my aunt has taught me so that you too can create her Panang Curry Pork. This is my absolute favourite Thai recipe to cook and I’ve made it at least 50 times!
Before you get started cooking, you’ll need to make a trip to a local Asian grocery store for a few of the harder to find ingredients. I like to get my curry paste, fish sauce, and Kaffir lime leaves there. Here in Toronto we have T&T Supermarket or Oceans which carry all of these items, but you should be able to find them at most Asian markets. You can find some curry pastes at traditional grocery stores, but they are just NOT the same! I like the Maesri brand, and so does my aunt! She said she used to make her curries from scratch but doesn’t bother anymore, because the paste you can buy is just as good (and a lot less work).
Once you’ve got all your supplies you’ll want to get the curry sauce started by combining your coconut milk, fish sauce, and curry in a pan (or wok).
With your curry bubbling away, and your kitchen smelling amazing, you’ll want to slice your kaffir lime leaves VERRRRYYYY thinly. If you have trouble finding kaffir lime leaves, I have substituted with lemon leaves before with success, as the flavor profile is very similar.
Next up is the pork. Pull out your knife sharpener because you’re going to want that baby sharp! Slice the pork as thinly as possible, and if you’re knife skills are anything like mine (aka awful), throw it in the freezer for about 30 minutes before you’re ready to start slicing. This will firm it up a bit and make getting a thin slice MUCH easier.
As promised, I like to load my curry up with veggies, so I went ahead and added a bunch of broccoli. Feel free to play around with the veggies – peppers and mushrooms work really well too!
Finally go ahead and pour your curry over a bowl of rice and enjoy! Be sure to get lots of yummy sauce in there too … add another scoop … one more … you can never have too much sauce!
- 1 cup brown rice*
- 400 mL coconut milk
- 1-3 tbsp panang curry**
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 10 leaves kaffir lime leaves (thinly sliced)
- 1 medium pork tenderloin (thinly sliced)
- 2 cups broccoli
Combine coconut milk, panang curry, and fish sauce in a sauce pan (or wok) over medium high heat. Bring to a rolling boil (approx. 3 mins).
Add thinly sliced lime leaves and pork tenderloin to the curry. Reduce heat to medium.
Once the pork is almost cooked through (approx. 5 mins), add the broccoli. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the broccoli is tender.
Serve over hot rice and enjoy!
*I always use brown rice because I try to stick to whole grains, which are more nutrient dense, but feel free to substitute with any rice of your choosing.
**I like a SPICY curry so I use 3 tbsp. I recommend starting with 1 tbsp., tasting and adjusting to your preference.