Old-Fashioned Thai Red Curry of Grilled & Smoked Pork Neck and Unripe Green Bananas (แกงหมูย่างกับกล้วยดิบ ; gaaeng muu yaang gap gluay dip)

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By: Hanuman, Thaan Khun and Chef Thapakorn Lertviriyavit (Gorn)

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gaaeng muu yaang gap gluay dip ; แกงหมูย่างกับกล้วยดิบ

Thai red curry is a broad term describing any curry that is red in color, although variations exist among the dish’s ingredients or their ratios. Today’s menu features a Thai red curry paste to which we add higher quantities of coriander root and kaffir lime zest; this creates a more aromatic character that will enhance the smokiness of the grilled pork meat and the mild sweetness of the unripe green bananas.

It is a thick, rich curry, cooked with freshly squeezed coconut cream, seasoned to a salty-sweet flavor and finished with kaffir lime leaves and holy basil leaves for freshness.

We will grill the pork until it’s fully cooked and its outer layers nicely caramelized. We introduce the curry’s ingredient flavors to the pork in the grilling stage – incorporating all the flavors into the meat, including the “Three Kings” of Thai cooking – coriander root, garlic and white peppercorns – along with coconut cream, fish sauce and palm sugar.

For even more intoxicating flavor, we will enhance the coconut essence in the dish by adding grated coconut over the hot charcoal while grilling the pork: This will intensify the pork with a sweet coconut smokiness that blends beautifully with the coconut base curry, resulting in a simple yet refined dish.

Balancing the flavors and the medicinal properties of the ingredients

Thai cuisine is renowned for its crafted composition of tastes and textures: this dish elegantly demonstrates as well the ancient Siamese tradition of balancing the medicinal properties in each ingredient.

Thai traditional medicine, with influences from the Indian Ayurvedic tradition and holistic Chinese medicine, advocates living in harmony with nature as the key to longevity and a healthy life.

Each ingredient possesses properties that address internal energies and that can be utilized to balance those internal energies.

For instance, raw bananas are used to offset the heat of the chili-based curry. The ancient Chinese medicine book, “Ben Cao Gang Mu Shi Yi”, mentions that the banana is sweet in taste and cold in nature, and that the unripe banana fruit is a strong astringent that aids digestion and prevents gastric ulcers. In the old days, Thai mothers fed to their babies a formula of cooked rice mixed with ground banana; this was believed to improve digestion.

Modern medicine supports this idea and recognizes bananas as a remedy for various gastrointestinal conditions, from diarrhea to peptic ulcers, due to their high levels of tannins, sitoindosides and leucocyanidins.

As well, the banana tree accompanies Thai people from birth to the afterlife. To invite protective spirits, newborns are gifted with decorative objects made out of banana leaves. The banana tree continues to provide throughout life, with nearly endless uses for banana leaves, trunks and fruit, finally ending with the female spirit ghost, Maae Praai Taanee (แม่พรายตานี), who resides in banana trees and in Thai beliefs.

Jao jaawm phit - เจ้าจอมพิศว์

Right: Jao jaawm phit (เจ้าจอมพิศว์)
Left: Jao phrayaa Passakornrawong (Phaawn) เจ้าพระยาภาสกรวงศ์ (พร)

About the recipe:

This recipe is adapted from “Maae Khruaa Huaa Bpaa” (แม่ครัวหัวป่าก์), a cookbook published in 1971 as a memorial for Jao Jaawm Phit (เจ้าจอมพิศว์); this recipe can also be found in other old cookbooks.

แม่ครัวหัวป่าก์ เล่มอนุสรณ์ เจ้าจอมพิศว์ ในปี 2514

Jao Jaawm Phit was the daughter of Jao Phrayaa Passakornrawong (Phaawn), a nobleman and a prominent political figure in the 19th century, as well as a descendant of the powerful aristocratic Siamese family of Persian origin – the Bunnag family.

Jao Jaawm Phit’s mother, Thanpuying (Lady) Plean Passakornrawong, was a pioneer of noble Thai cuisine. Lady Thanpuying is known for her culinary writing. Considered to be the first comprehensive Thai cookbook, Maae Khruaa Huaa Bpaa (แม่ครัวหัวป่าก์), her book consists of five volumes: its first edition, from 1908, is quite rare and sought after by connoisseurs of Thai food.

gaaeng muu yaang gap gluay dip ; แกงหมูย่างกับกล้วยดิบCooking tips:

  1. Make your own curry paste using fresh ingredients and a stone pestle and mortar. You will never get the full aroma or the same complexity of flavors from premade curry mixtures.
  2. Use pork neck or pork belly as the meat cut of choice.
  3. Peel the green bananas and cut them into uniformly sized pieces. Soak the pieces in water mixed with lime and salt to prevent oxidization and to remove some of their unripe stickiness.
  4. Usually we use Thai sweet basil, but have chosen to use Holy Basil in this recipe. If you can find it, the red variety is more aromatic.
  5. Balance the taste for spicy and salty with a touch of sweetness.
  6. This curry pairs well with deep-fried fish, Thai-style omelet or pomelo salad.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Old-Fashioned Thai Red Curry of Grilled & Smoked Pork Neck and Unripe Green Bananas Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Ready In
 
A rich Thai red curry, cooked with freshly squeezed coconut cream, with grilled & smoked pork neck and unripe green bananas. It is seasoned to a salty-sweet flavor and finished with kaffir lime leaves and holy basil leaves for freshness.
By:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Thai
Serves: 6

Ingredients

 
  • 600g pork belly and pork neck
  • 2 cups unripe green bananas
  • red curry paste (see below)
  • 1 cup coconut cream (to fry the curry paste)
  • 1-2 cups coconut cream (to dilute the curry paste)
  • 1-2 cups coconut milk
  • 5 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons palm sugar
  • 6 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 cup red, green and yellow long fresh chili peppers
  • 2 cups holy basil
  • 1/2 cup kaffir lime leaves, hair-thin julienned
  • charcoal and dry grated coconut (for grilling and smoking)
to marinate the pork
  • 2 tablespoons coriander roots
  • 1 teaspoon white peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon thai garlic
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
for the Thai red curry paste
  • 14 long dried red chilies (approximately 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup lemongrass
  • 2 tablespoons coriander roots
  • 1 tablespoon kaffir lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon galangal
  • 2 tablespoons thai garlic
  • 3 tablespoons shallots
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, roasted
Method
  1. Marinate the pork meat for at least two hours, in a paste of coriander root, garlic and white peppercorns, palm sugar, fish sauce and coconut milk.
    gaaeng muu yaang gap gluay dip ; แกงหมูย่างกับกล้วยดิบ
  2. Charcoal grill the pork over low heat, and toss a handful of grated coconut over the hot charcoal to smoke the meat.
    gaaeng muu yaang gap gluay dip ; แกงหมูย่างกับกล้วยดิบ
  3. Slice the pork into thin, bite-sized pieces.
    gaaeng muu yaang gap gluay dip ; แกงหมูย่างกับกล้วยดิบ
  4. De-seed the dry long chilies and soak them in hot water until soft.
    gaaeng muu yaang gap gluay dip ; แกงหมูย่างกับกล้วยดิบ
  5. This is a visual overview for the ratio of ingredients in the curry paste.
    gaaeng muu yaang gap gluay dip ; แกงหมูย่างกับกล้วยดิบ
  6. Pound the curry paste; start with the chilies and gradually add the other ingredients, from the driest to the wet.
    gaaeng muu yaang gap gluay dip ; แกงหมูย่างกับกล้วยดิบ
  7. Select unripe green bananas - any kind will do.
    gaaeng muu yaang gap gluay dip ; แกงหมูย่างกับกล้วยดิบ
  8. Prepare a mixing bowl with salt water and add a squeeze of lime.
    gaaeng muu yaang gap gluay dip ; แกงหมูย่างกับกล้วยดิบ
  9. Peel the bananas, and cut them into even slices.
    Place them in the salt water and set aside.
    gaaeng muu yaang gap gluay dip ; แกงหมูย่างกับกล้วยดิบ
  10. Pick the basil leaves and set aside.
    gaaeng muu yaang gap gluay dip ; แกงหมูย่างกับกล้วยดิบ
  11. Tear kaffir lime leaves and set aside.
    gaaeng muu yaang gap gluay dip ; แกงหมูย่างกับกล้วยดิบ
  12. In a cooking pot, heat coconut cream until it breaks (cracked), and then add the red curry paste.
    gaaeng muu yaang gap gluay dip ; แกงหมูย่างกับกล้วยดิบ
  13. Fry the curry paste in the cracked coconut, gradually adding more coconut cream.
    gaaeng muu yaang gap gluay dip ; แกงหมูย่างกับกล้วยดิบ
  14. The curry base is ready when the coconut is releasing clear oil. Be careful not to burn the paste.
    gaaeng muu yaang gap gluay dip ; แกงหมูย่างกับกล้วยดิบ
  15. Tip: Add a tablespoon of water to help separate the oils.
    gaaeng muu yaang gap gluay dip ; แกงหมูย่างกับกล้วยดิบ
  16. You will immediately see a deep red oil floating; this will enhance the appearance of the dish.
    gaaeng muu yaang gap gluay dip ; แกงหมูย่างกับกล้วยดิบ
  17. Add the grilled pork slices.
    gaaeng muu yaang gap gluay dip ; แกงหมูย่างกับกล้วยดิบ
  18. Add the unripe green bananas.
    gaaeng muu yaang gap gluay dip ; แกงหมูย่างกับกล้วยดิบ
  19. Cook while stirring until the bananas soften.
    gaaeng muu yaang gap gluay dip ; แกงหมูย่างกับกล้วยดิบ
  20. Add torn kaffir lime leaves.
    gaaeng muu yaang gap gluay dip ; แกงหมูย่างกับกล้วยดิบ
  21. Season with palm sugar.
    gaaeng muu yaang gap gluay dip ; แกงหมูย่างกับกล้วยดิบ
  22. Add fish sauce.
    gaaeng muu yaang gap gluay dip ; แกงหมูย่างกับกล้วยดิบ
  23. Add coconut milk.
    gaaeng muu yaang gap gluay dip ; แกงหมูย่างกับกล้วยดิบ
  24. Keep cooking until you are pleased with the consistency of the bananas and curry; adjust flavors as needed.
    gaaeng muu yaang gap gluay dip ; แกงหมูย่างกับกล้วยดิบ
  25. Add hot chilies of three colors – red, green and yellow.
    gaaeng muu yaang gap gluay dip ; แกงหมูย่างกับกล้วยดิบ
  26. Cook for couple of minutes until the chilies release their flavors.
    gaaeng muu yaang gap gluay dip ; แกงหมูย่างกับกล้วยดิบ
  27. Add Holy Basil leaves.
    gaaeng muu yaang gap gluay dip ; แกงหมูย่างกับกล้วยดิบ
  28. Over low heat in a separate bowl, thicken some coconut cream with a pinch of salt, for topping.
    gaaeng muu yaang gap gluay dip ; แกงหมูย่างกับกล้วยดิบ
  29. Add very thinly julienned kaffir lime leaves for decoration.
    gaaeng muu yaang gap gluay dip ; แกงหมูย่างกับกล้วยดิบ
  30. Serve.
    gaaeng muu yaang gap gluay dip ; แกงหมูย่างกับกล้วยดิบ

 

8 comments… add one
  • Yasashii Pii Mar 27, 2016, 11:00 pm

    ขอบคุณมากๆเลยครับ

  • พงศกร สนิทนอก Mar 27, 2016, 11:39 pm

    จะลองทำดู

  • Sitthikorn Thepchanta Mar 29, 2016, 6:59 pm

    I’ve tried so many your recipes…. Love it n so many people enjoy all I cooked

  • 2073801 Mar 29, 2016, 6:59 pm

    กลืนน้ำลายแป๊ป น่าอร่อยมากครับ

  • jommarnrai Mar 29, 2016, 6:59 pm

    ไว้จะหาเวลาทำตามค่ะ

  • CloudSphere Mar 29, 2016, 7:00 pm

    อาหารว่าน่าทานแล้ว แต่ฝีมือถ่ายรูปนี่สุดยอดมากครับ

  • rin1975 Mar 30, 2016, 8:37 am

    สุดยอดมาก วิธีทำครบเครื่อง รูปสวยมากกกก
    ขอบคุณสำหรับวิธีทำค่ะ
    ชอบแกงแบบนี้
    ตักข้าวสวยร้อนๆ มารอเลย

  • แกงปลาใส่มะออม Mar 30, 2016, 8:38 am

    ภาพสวยมากค่ะ ชอบสำนวนการเขียนด้วย

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