Crispy Pork Belly in Red Curry Paste
See also Thai Red Curry with Prawns Thai Red Curry in Young Coconut Thai Fish Cakes Crispy Pork Belly
This dish may never make it into the pages of Slimming World but I’ll do my calorie counting on another day :-) The crispy pork skin and the melting texture of the meat in the red curry paste is pretty close to food heaven for me. This is not a complicated dish, although it may look that way with the amount of photos in the recipe but that’s simply because I covered every step. I’m sure the once you’ve tried this you will agree it was worth the effort no matter how long it took!
The better the pork belly, the better it will taste. At a minimum, I would at least look for outdoor reared pork.
Ingredients. 1 piece of belly pork 5-700g, sea salt, vinegar, green beans, lime leaves, as ever, optional and available frozen in Chinese or other Asian stores. If you want to serve it with the Prik nam pla dipping sauce in the bottom right of the above pic you need Thai fish sauce, lime juice and a finely chopped chilli. Simply mix 2 tbps of fish sauce with the same amount of lime juice and add the chilli. Although we refer to this as a dipping sauce, in practice you drizzle a little of it over the dish according to taste.
Use a sharp knife to score the skin of the pork lightly. I always find an art craft knife or Stanley knife best for this. Place pork in steamer and steam for 30 minutes
Remove from steamer, allow to cool for 10 minutes and stab the skin all over with a sharp fork or skewer. Rub salt and vinegar into the skin.
Slice underside as in picture. Rub salt and vinegar into meat.
Grill both sides on low for around 5 minutes to help remove some of the moisture.
A strange looking arrangement I know! The purpose of these skewers is to stop the skin of the pork from touching the base of the wok which would prevent it crisping properly. A deep fat fryer would have done the job just as well but not everyone has one in their kitchen. Fry the skin side on low for 5 minutes.
Remove the skewers and turn and fry the meat side down on medium for 10 minutes.
Turn the meat again skin side down and cook until it's nicely browned as below. No need to worry about it touching base of wok now.
Remove meat from pan, drain and allow to cool and then slice as in picture below. My skewer arrangement did not work quite as well as I hoped, the center of the pork must have been touching the wok base a little as it has not bubbled up there as much as it should have done. This is much easier to do in a deep fat fryer!
Slice pork again into smaller sections as below and set aside.
Add a little oil to pan and brown the sides of the pork as below, remove from pan.
Add curry paste to pan and heat until it bubbles. Add 2 to 4 tablespoons of water to paste, depending on how liquid you want the sauce to be.
Add pork, green beans and sliced lime leaves to pan (if using) and cook through for a couple of minutes whilst stirring. Note. I like my green beans almost raw. If you prefer your beans more tender then best to steam them or simmer and drain before using. Don't be tempted to extend the cooking time for this stage of the dish to more than a couple of minutes or you will overcook it.
Serve and enjoy!
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