Soulful Bowl Of Asian Food Part 3: Phat Phrik Khing Muu (Thailand)
To culminate this series of soulful food recipes, we are going to share to you the most celebrated yet commonly found comfort dish in Asia. In the world of culinary arts it is a known fact that every country in Asia have their own variations of preparations and recipes of this dish. You will know that you have officially stepped in to the territory of culinary influence of Asia when you have smelled it from the air inviting to seat and enjoy a plate full of it. The soulful comfort food that I am talking about is curry.
Curry, the most colorful, aromatic, flavorful, and iconic Asian dish ever made. Amongst all countries in Asia, Siam or also known today as Thailand is famous for their many varieties of curry dishes due to its people’s love for color as well as unique combination of tropical flavors. Although usually curry’s gravy are made with coconut milk, this curry will not require one. Its flavor will solely rely on the fresh curry paste that is composed of lemongrass, dried shrimp, krachai, and bright Asian spices.
Furthermore, this curry belongs to a family of curry dish that is rather dry but with explosive flavors called phat phrik khing. Damn just by visualizing the flavor profile of this dish makes my mouth water, so let us not prolong our wait and let us go ahead with the recipe. This recipe yields four to six generous servings:
Phat Phrik Khing Muu
Ingredients for the curry paste:
12 stemmed and roughly chopped dried puya chiles
8 stemmed and roughly chopped dried red thai chiles
One third cup rinsed and drained small dried shrimps
Two tablespoon of roughly chopped cilantro roots and stems
One and a half kosher salt
8 cloves of garlic (roughly chopped)
6 small shallots roughly chopped
6 lemon grass stalks that are trimmed and thinly sliced
A four inch krachai, peeled and thinly sliced
And one two-inches galangal, peeled and thinly sliced
Ingredient for the curry:
Half pound skin on pork belly
Three cloves of garlic (roughly chopped)
1 tbsp of fish sauce
One and a half teaspoon of lightly crushed pickled green pepper corns
Three fourth teaspoon of grated palm sugar
5 fresh kaffir lime leaves that are roughly torn
6 fresh green thai chiles that are halved and stemmed
3 inches krachai (peeled and grated)
Half pound long beans trimmed and cut into two inches pieces
One cup packed basil leaves
Cooked Thai jasmine rice for serving
*Paste: in a utility bowl place the chiles and cover with two cups of boiling water and let it sit for approximately 15 minutes. Drain the chiles and reserve at five tablespoon of the liquid. In a mortar and pestle puree the chiles, dried shrimp, cilantro root/stem, salt, garlic, shallots, lemongrass, krachai, and galangal until it at all mixed together. Smoothen the paste by gradually adding the chili liquid as you puree the mixture. Set aside and let it rest.
*In a pot boil the pork belly in approximately 6 cups of water over high heat. Cook the pork for 45 minutes until becomes tender. Remove the pork from heat and transfer it over an ice bath. Remove the skin of the pork and slice the pork into one inch pieces. Set aside.
*Heat a wok over medium-high heat with the pork pieces. Cook each sides of the pork until it browned on all sides and rendered fat. Add the garlic and sautee it until its golden brown. Stir in the curry paste and sautee it until it becomes fragrant. Add in the following ingredients: peppercorns, palm sugar, chiles, krachai, lime leaves, and 2/3 cups water. Once the misture boiled add in the beans, and stirt the mixture occasionally for 15 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and add in the basil leaves. In your favorite bowl scoop some cooked Thai jasmine rice and carefully scoop the curry beside the rice. Enjoy the dish while its hot.