Pork and Three Beans Minced-Bird Style Curry with Fingerroot and Holy Basil (แกงคั่วหมูสับถั่วพู; Gaaeng Muu Sap Thuaa Phuu)

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This contemporary minced-bird style curry uses pork rather than bird. However, since thicker, meatier curries have become associated in modern Thai cuisine with the bold presence of fingerroot – for example, in dishes such as fermented rice noodles in naam yaa thick fish curry (khanohm jeen naam yaa (ขนมจีนน้ำยา)) – this dish adopts the penetrating aromatic character of fingerroot along with the clove-like warmth of holy basil.

Like crisp footsteps in a forest, this satisfyingly meaty curry features vibrant fresh red chilies and thinly sliced yardlong beans and winged beans. It is suitable to serve with rice or with fermented rice noodles (khanom jeen paeng mak), conveying an aromatic upcountry flair.

To cook this curry, begin by ruaan (รวน) the minced pork meat with kaffir lime. This technique, essential in removing unwanted odors, involves wet-roasting the meat with minimal liquid. Kaffir lime leaves are added for their deodorizing effect. Once the pork is cooked, strain and discard the leaves and cooking liquids.

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Next, thinly slice one cup each of winged beans (ถั่วพู) and yardlong beans (ถั่วฝักยาว). Deploying the standard phrik khing (พริกขิง) recipe, prepare the curry paste using dried chilies that were rehydrated for brighter color, and pound the curry paste with the addition of fingerroot (กระชาย).

In a brass wok, heat coconut cream until it thickens; save some for the garnish. When the coconut cream starts to separate and oil surfaces, add the curry paste and fry it with the precooked minced pork. Fry it carefully, until the curry paste loses its rawness and the pork starts to caramelize, deglazing with chicken stock as needed. When the minced pork and curry paste mixture is cooked, dilute it to the desired consistency using chicken stock. Allow to briefly cook until the pork mixture integrates into the broth.

In the meantime, bruise pea eggplants (มะเขือพวง) in a mortar and pestle, and add them to the curry. Also add julienned fingerroot and let its aroma develop.

Next, season with fish sauce and palm sugar for a salty-sweet flavor profile. Once satisfied, add the sliced beans and fresh red long chili. Cook briefly before turning off the heat and stirring in the herbs for a fragrant finish.

minced-bird-style-pork-curry
Pork and Three Beans Minced-Bird Style Curry with Fingerroot and Holy Basil (แกงคั่วหมูสับถั่วพู; Gaaeng Muu Sap Thuaa Phuu)
The "Pork and Three Beans Minced-Bird Style Curry with Fingerroot and Holy Basil" (แกงคั่วหมูสับถั่วพู; Gaaeng Muu Sap Thuaa Phuu) is a modern Thai dish that substitutes traditional bird meat with pork, infused with the bold flavors of fingerroot and holy basil. It features a rich blend of fresh red chilies, yardlong beans, and winged beans, perfect for pairing with rice or fermented rice noodles, embodying a rustic, aromatic charm.
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Prep Time 55 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Curry
Cuisine Thai
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

To cook the pork:

  • 400 g minced pork meat (เนื้อหมูบด)
  • kaffir lime leaves (ใบมะกรูด)

For the curry:

  • 1 cup coconut cream (หัวกะทิ)
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk (หางกะทิ)
  • 1 cup pea eggplants (มะเขือพวง) crushed
  • 1/3 cup fingerroot (krachai) (กระชาย) juliennes
  • 1 cup snap beans (ถั่วแขก)
  • 1 cup winged beans (ถั่วพู) thinly sliced
  • 1 cup yardlong beans (ถั่วฝักยาว) thinly sliced
  • fresh red long chili (phrik chee fa) (พริกชี้ฟ้าแดง) juliennes
  • fresh green long chili (phrik chee fa) (พริกชี้ฟ้าเขียว) juliennes
  • 1 cup holy basil (ใบกะเพรา)

For the curry paste:

  • 10 dried red long chili (phrik chee fa) (พริกชี้ฟ้าแห้ง) dehydrated
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt (เกลือทะเล)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons lemongrass (ตะไคร้) thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons galangal (ข่า) thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fingerroot (krachai) (กระชาย)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander roots (รากผักชี) scraped, washed and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kaffir lime zest (ผิวมะกรูด)
  • 1 tablespoon Thai garlic (กระเทียมไทย) thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons shallots (หอมแดง) thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fermented shrimp paste (kapi)(กะปิย่างไฟ) grilled

Seasoning:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce (น้ำปลา)
  • 1/2 tablespoon palm sugar (น้ำตาลมะพร้าว)

Instructions
 

Ruaan (รวน) the pork:

  • Start by wet-roasting the minced pork with small amount of liquids and hand-torn kaffir lime leaves. This process, known as ruaan, helps remove unwanted odors. Cook the pork until done, then strain and discard the kaffir lime leaves and any cooking liquids. Set aside.

Prepare the vegetables:

  • Bruise pea eggplants in a mortar and pestle. Allow to soak in light salted water. Set aside.
  • Thinly slice the beans. Set aside.
  • Slice fingerroot into thin juliennes Set aside.
  • De-seed a fresh red long chili and slice into elongated pieces.

Prepare the curry paste:

  • An overview of the curry paste ingredients.
  • De-seed and rehydrate the dried chilies in hot water.
  • Pound the curry paste, starting with the chilies and salt.
  • Gradually add the other ingredients, from the driest to the wet. Pound the paste until it is smooth with a rounded aroma. After pounding the chilies, add the lemongrass and galangal.
  • Add the coriander root.
  • Add the kaffir lime zest.
  • Add the fingerroot.
  • Add the shallots and garlic.
  • Add the fermented shrimp paste (kapi) and continue pounding until a rounded aroma is achieved.
  • Remove the curry paste and set it aside. Wash the mortar and pestle with about one cup of plain water and reserve the liquids.

Cook the curry:

  • In a brass wok, heat the coconut cream until it thickens and oil appears. Scoop out a small portion to drizzle on top of the finished curry.
  • Add the curry paste.
  • Add the cooked minced pork meat and mix well.
  • Fry the paste and the pork mixture until the paste loses its rawness and the pork starts to caramelize. Good heat control is essential to prevent burning, so use small amounts of water to deglaze the wok as necessary.
  • Stop the frying with plain water and the liquids collected from cleaning the pestle and mortar. This is important: At this stage, in order to separate the oil particles created during the paste frying process from the rest of the broth, mix gently to avoid re-emulsification of the oil.

Diluting the curry:

  • Dilute the curry with coconut milk or chicken stock to your liking.

Seasoning:

  • Season to a salty leading with a sweet floor flavor profile – and taste before seasoning! Start by seasoning the salty element using fish sauce.
  • When you are satisfied with the saltiness, add palm sugar at the ratio indicated.
  • Add eggplants and fingerroot.
  • Add the sliced beans.
  • Add the sliced yardlong beans.
  • Add the sliced winged beans.
  • Add the fresh red and green long chili.

Adding the herbs:

  • Turn off the heat before adding the Thai basil. Spread the Thai basil equally on top of the curry and gently push it into the broth, allowing it to wilt down. Do not stir vigorously!

Plate and serve:

  • Put the curry into a serving bowl; drizzle thick coconut cream over it and serve!
Keyword Ancient Thai curry (แกงไทยโบราณ)
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