Pad prik moo (stir-fried pork with red curry paste)

Thai curry pastes are used for a lot more than the soupy chicken and beef curries, which – with the chilli-heat turned right down – appear on the ‘safe’ international menus you find in hotel restaurants. Smeared onto seafood before grilling, for instance, and stir-fried with pork and green beans in this dish.

The recipe is adapted from one on the ezythaicooking website, which my Thai friend in Phuket sent to me. Shrimp paste and galangal can be hard to find but the dish works well enough without them.

Red curry paste ingredients

5 small dried chillies

2 banana shallots (or 3 round shallots), sliced

4 cloves garlic

½ inch piece galangal

1 lemongrass stalk, sliced

1 tsp Thai shrimp paste

1 tbs ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp salt

Around 6 black peppercorns

1 strip of lime rind

Other ingredients

1-2 pork loin steaks or equivalent, trimmed off pack and cubed

100g green beans, topped, tailed and halved

1 tbs sugar

3 tbs fish sauce

1-2 kaffir lime leaves, sliced thinly

Handful of coriander leaves

Thai jasmine rice, to serve


  1. Cook the rice according to the packet instructions.
  1. Crush the red curry ingredients together with a pestle and mortar until you have a coarse paste.
  1. Heat a splash of vegetable oil in a frying pan or wok. Add the red curry paste and stir-fry for about 30 seconds until aromatic.
  1. Add the pork and stir-fry until cooked through (around 4 minutes). Add a splash of water if the curry paste starts to stick, but not too much or the pork will end up braised instead of stir-fried.
  1. Add the beans and stir-fry for another minute.
  1. Add the fish sauce, sugar and lime leaves, stir-fry for another 30 seconds.
  1. Serve with rice on the side.

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