Crispy Pork Curry
The first time I had this dish was in Australia, of all places yes it happened not in South East Asia but in the land of the Koalas and Kangaroos. It was at Jojo’s on the Mall when I opted to order on their Asian Fusion section where this Pork Belly Red Curry called me by name. At first I never knew it was made of crispy pork but when it arrived I was surprised, it’s a dish perfectly designed for me. I did note it down so I can remember that this needs to be done when I go back home in New Zealand.
I really don’t know its recipe so I will just be guessing on how they made it, with red curry on the name and a visible crispy pork on the ingredient, I guess this won’t be hard. For our recipe today I will be basing my crispy pork on the Filipino dish called lechon kawali, a twice cooked pork belly where it is first boiled then deep fried. I don’t even need a deep fryer for this, a good quality wok filled with oil will do. For the curry I will be basing it on the Pork Panaeng, a red curry pork popular in Thailand.
It’s quite a mission to make this but it’s all worth the wait and effort. The sweet, savoury, creamy and spicy flavours are a pleasure to your senses plus the different textures is just a sensation on your mouth. It’s really a good dish and I swear by it.
- 1 kg pork belly, (1 big piece, do not slice)
- 1 whole garlic, crushed
- 1 tbsp peppercorns
- 4 pcs bay leaves
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 can lemonade soda (7-Up or Sprite)
- sea salt
- oil for deep frying
- Rub sea salt generously on pork belly then cover it tightly with a cling wrap and store in the refrigerator for at least a day.
- Rinse pork in running water making sure all salt has been cleared from the meat.
- Place pork in a pressure cooker together with the soy sauce, garlic, peppercorns, laurel leaves and lemonade soda. Now pour enough water just to cover the entire meat.
- Pressure cook for 20 to 30 minutes (Depending on the thickness of pork belly), your timing should start when the whistle starts to make sound.
- Once the pork is tender remove it from the pressure cooker and pat it dry with a paper towel.
- Now once the surface of the pork is dried place it in a covered container and refrigerate it for at least 12 hours or until it is cold.
- Cut pork into chunks, set aside.
- Prepare a wok filled with oil and heat it up, once hot place the pork carefully while cold into the hot oil, be really careful as it will splatter.
- Deep fry the pork until golden brown, this won’t take really long and remember you just want to make the outside crisp; the inner part is already cooked. Once cooked remove from the wok then drain, set aside.
- Pour 200 ml of coconut milk into a wok and reduce until oil begins to separate and becomes really fragrant. Add red curry paste and stir fry for a few minutes.
- Add 400 ml of coconut milk, bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes in high heat, liquid should have been reduced to half it volume.
- Add palm sugar, fish sauce (according to taste), kaffir lime leaves, sweet basil, red chilli, carrot, broccoli and remaining coconut milk. Simmer in low heat for 15 more minutes. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
- Place pork on serving platter, pour curry sauce with vegetables on top then serve.
By the way Exotic Food New Zealand had gladly provided us with several of its products and for this recipe of ours today we used their fish sauce which gives this dish a more authentic taste to it. For more information about their amazing product range please visit them at their website at www.exoticfood.co.nz