Chiang Mai Pork Belly Curry

yummy dinner

yummy dinner

I was given this recipe from a friend who loves Thailand and it’s amazing food, she was there recently and had this dish in a restaurant and loved it so much she searched until she found the recipe and passed it on to me, how awesome! I couldn’t wait to make it, actually I made it that same night, I had to buy some galangal, tamarind puree and shrimp paste (buy the type already roasted so you don’t have to stink out your house for days) but all the other ingredients were on hand. It’s a curry with a light and fragrant gravy, I think the tamarind puree gives it a wonderful tangy lift.

Chiang Mai Pork Curry
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Thailand
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
This recipe takes a little time because you have to make the curry paste but you will have some left over for other dishes and it is SO well worth the effort!
  • For the Chiang Mai Curry Paste
  • 1 tbs coriander seeds, dry roasted
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds, dry roasted
  • 2 dried long red chillies (13cm long) - I used my frozen home grown chillies
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 5 cm piece of galangal, grated
  • 1 lemon grass stalk, white part only, finely chopped
  • 2 asian shallots, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp grated turmeric or a pinch of ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste
  • ½ tsp ground cassia or cinnamon
  • For the Curry
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) pork belly cut into cubes
  • 2 tbs oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbs Chiang Mai curry paste (above) or bought paste
  • 4 asian shallots crushed with a cleaver (I omitted these)
  • 4 cm piece of ginger, shredded
  • 4 tbs roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 3 tbs tamarind puree
  • 2 tbs fish sauce
  • 2 tbs palm sugar
  1. Making the curry paste
  2. Grind the coriander and cumin seeds to a powder with a mortar and pestle
  3. Slit the chillies in half and remove the seeds
  4. Soak the dried chillies in hot water for 1 - 2 minutes, or until soft.
  5. Drain and roughly chop the chillies
  6. Using a mortar and pestle, pound the chillies, salt, galangal, lemon grass, shallots, garlic and turmeric to a smooth paste
  7. Add the shrimp paste, ground coriander, cumin and cassia and pound again
  8. Alternatively use a food processor or blender to grind or blend the ingredients into a paste (I used my food processor)
  9. Add cooking oil as needed to assist blending
  10. Makes about 185g of paste
  11. Store in a jar in the fridge and use within 2 weeks
  12. Making the pork curry
  13. Blanch the pork in boiling water for 1 minute, then drain well
  14. Heat the oil in a wok or fry pan and fry the garlic for 1 min
  15. Add the curry paste and stir-fry until fragrant
  16. Add the pork, shallots, ginger and peanuts and stir briefly
  17. Add the tamarind and 500ml of water
  18. Bring to the boil
  19. Add the fish sauce and sugar and simmer for about 1½ hours, or until the pork is very tender
  20. Add more water as the pork cooks if necessary
  21. Serve with steamed rice and vegetables but a Thai salad would be beautiful!


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