Red Curry with Pork Belly and Water Spinach

February 01, 2016 • Posted in: curry, Pork belly, pork, Thai

Requires some asian-store-specific ingredients, and time to prepare the curry paste from scratch, but cooks relatively quickly and is delicious!


  • 2 tbs peanut or sunflower oil
  • 500g boneless pork belly, rind removed, cut into 3cm pieces
  • 2 cups (500ml) coconut cream
  • 2 tbs fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup tamarind paste
  • 2 cups (500ml) chicken stock
  • 30g palm sugar, grated
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, very thinly sliced
  • Kaffir lime juice or lime juice, to taste
  • 200g (about 2 bunches) water spinach
  • Serve with cooked white rice

Curry Paste

  • 8 dried long red chillies
  • 2 small red chillies, chopped
  • 150g galangal, thickly sliced
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, chopped
  • 3 Asian (red) eschalots, chopped
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste (from Asian grocers)
  • 1 bunch coriander roots, chopped
  • 1 tsp white peppercorns
  • Finely grated zest of 2 kaffir limes


Curry Paste

  1. Soak dried chilli in water for 20 minutes, then drain.
  2. Add soaked chilli, small red chilies, and 1 tsp salt to a food processer, and pulse into a rough paste.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, and mix to a rough paste.


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook, turning, for 10 minutes or until browned and caramelised.
  2. Remove pork from pan, and set aside. Wipe the pan clean and return to low heat.
  3. Add 1 cup (250ml) coconut cream and half the curry paste (freeze and reserve remaining curry paste for another use) and cook for 10-15 minutes until cream appears curdled and separated. 
  4. Return pork to pan and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes, then add fish sauce, tamarind, stock, sugar, lime leaves, and remaining 1 cup (250ml) of coconut cream. Add lime juice to taste.
  5. Cook for a further 25 minutes or until thickened and reduced.
  6. Meanwhile, blanch water spinach in a large saucepan for boiling , salted water for 30 seconds, or until tender. Drain.
  7. Divide the rice and curry among bowls and top with water spinach.
Preparation time: 45min
Cooking time: 45min
Serves: 3-4

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