Hello, springers of spring. At this very moment I'm thinking fondly of last week, when the sun was warm and welcome but there was still a cool breeze blowing down every narrow street in town...cause right now, it looks like the heavens are about to erupt in a deathly windstorm. Seriously though, we had some extremely beautiful days last week, little pink and white blossoms popping out everywhere, and it reminded me of living in Fayetteville, Arkansas, in the spring, and just shaking off the heavy coats one day, realizing things were about to get awesomely beautiful. Spring always hit me hard in Fayetteville because the preceding winter always threatened to make a permanent hermit out of me. In New Orleans, winter-into-spring is less abrupt, but still makes my soul feel right.
Thinking about Fayetteville gets me to thinking about Thai food that I miss so much. The 'Ville has (or had, when we were there) three wonderful Thai restaurants that we would alternate visiting every week. I loved the spicy soups at Tep Thai, and the mango and beef salad (and the mango with sticky rice) at Thai Diner, but I especially loved the curries at Taste of Thai on the square. I fell deeply in love with a particular green curry with pork and eggplant, and hardly ever strayed back to pad Thai or any of those other gems after that. I've started making it at home this year, and it's doing a bit to ease the Fayetteville pangs. Though an actual visit sure would rock.
Fact: here in Nola, two things Paul and I never say are "Let's go for Thai," or "Let's go for Mexican." It just doesn't happen. We do say "Let's go for oysters" enough to keep me happy, though.
thai green curried pork
Note: this recipe cooks quickly, so you'll want to have everything chopped and ready. I start the rice first and set the timer on it for 16 minutes, and the pork is finished within a minute or two of that.
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons Thai green curry paste, divided
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless pork loin chops, in 1/4"-thick slices
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- half a yellow onion, sliced thinly
- 1 small eggplant, sliced into thin rounds and then into matchsticks
- 1 can unsweetened coconut milk (I use lite)
- juice of one lime
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 can bamboo shoots, drained
- 1/2 cup frozen green peas
- sliced basil or Thai basil, for garnish
- steamed white rice for serving
- Put the pork slices in a bowl and toss them with 1/2 a Tablespoon of curry paste. Set aside until ready to cook.
- Heat a wok or large, deep skillet over high heat until very hot. Add 1 Tablespoon of oil and the pork, stir-frying until just cooked through (about 6 minutes). Remove pork to a large bowl and set aside.
- Heat another Tablespoon of oil in the wok and add the onion and eggplant, stir-frying until the eggplant is soft and the onion is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add to the bowl with the pork.
- Reduce heat under the wok to medium-high, and pour in the coconut milk. Add the lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and remaining 2 Tablespoons of curry paste. Stir well and bring to a boil; let reduce and thicken slightly. Taste to see if you want more sugar or fish sauce.
- Add the pork and vegetables to the sauce in the wok, along with the bamboo shoots and peas. Stir everything together for another 2 to 4 minutes, until hot and well-coated.
- Serve over rice with basil strewn across the top.