Kaeng Hung Leh

Kaeng Hung Leh

Kaeng Hung Leh, Hang Lay Curry or Burmese curry is a rich curry made with pork belly and spices and flavours like chillies, salt, shallots, shrimp, garlic, sweet soy sauce, turmeric powder and marsala powder, a popular curry that is found primarily in Chiang Mai and all over northern Thailand

This dish was believed to have come all the way from India through the northern Burmese border from a curry called “Wet Tha Hin“. Unlike usual Thai dishes it has a strong influence from Burma where it is evident on the flavours like turmeric and ginger, it is also herbaceous, a bit bitter, salty but not too hot unlike its Thai counterparts. But even with those properties this has become an iconic dish of the North Thailand.

It’s a very complex flavoured dish, a spoonful of this is like a New Year fireworks for your mouth, its sour, its spicy, its savoury, its sweet, its hot, its oily, is it confusing? Well in a good way but definitely it’s one delicious dish.

Kaeng Hung Leh
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 5-6
Curry Paste
  • 2 stalks lemongrass (white part only), thinly sliced
  • ½ thumb sized fresh galangal, thinly sliced
  • 2 pcs long red chillies
  • 2 pcs small shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste (Kapi Kung, Belachan or Bagoong)
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 kg pork belly, cubed
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3 tbsp tamarind pulp
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp palm sugar
  • 800 ml water
  • fish sauce
  • 1 thumb sized ginger, sliced into thin matchsticks
  • 1 head garlic, minced
  • 2 pcs small shallots, thinly sliced
  • crispy fried shallots, to garnish
  • coriander, to garnish
  • oil
  1. In a food processor or blender combine all curry paste ingredients, pulse or mix until it becomes a coarse paste. Set aside.
  2. In a wok add oil in medium heat then add half of the curry paste, sauté for 3 minutes. Add the shallots, garlic, curry powder and turmeric continue to sauté for 1 minute.
  3. Add pork and stir to coat, cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the fish sauce, soy sauce and palm sugar. Place heat to high then add the tamarind pulp together with the water, bring to a boil, cover slightly and simmer in low heat for 45 minutes. Let the steam come out so it easily dries out.
  5. Add the ginger give it a good mix then simmer for 45 more minutes.
  6. Remove for wok then serve garnished with crispy fried shallots and coriander


Kaeng Hung Leh Wide


4 Responses

  1. This curry looks incredibly delicious! It’s so interesting how curries from different countries can be so different!

  2. My mouth is truly watering. Can i have this for breakfast lol? Seriously is looks so fragrant, rich, delicious. Pinned.

  3. mjskitchen says:

    I love it that you make your own curry and what a great curry it is. Totally great dish!

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