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Panaeng Curry with Pork - Spicy!

Well this week it seems I have been inspired to make spicy Asian dishes and I mean spicy lol. I just can't get enough of curry dishes. Anything spicy works for me and I am lucky enough to have a very willing guinea pig to help!

I was lucky enough to have access to a free trial of the Rouxbe Cooking School, courtesy of the Cooking Club of America and having watched many instructional videos I happened upon this dish.

My first attempt was supposed to be my first proper Stir Fry, a Panaeng Curry with Pork. However if I am being truthful, during the cooking process it ended up looking more like a Green Curry dish in the making than anything. Having said that, it did still taste yummy non the less thank God, so not a complete wast!

The cool thing too, is that I have been wanting to try out Asia World Market for some time and this recipe gave me the perfect excuse to visit the store. It is such an interesting store with so many cool foods/spices/sauces and other kitchen items. Not to mention all the staff and including the customers were all so very welcoming and helpful. I mean, this freckled Irish ass butt must have looked like a deer in the headlights at times while rooming the aisles.

Now you could just buy the pre made paste but I thought it would be fun to try it as per the recipe. Besides I didn't see any at the store, however they did have almost all of the ingredients so why not give it a try right.

You will need the following to make the Panaeng Curry Paste:

  • 4 tbsp unsalted raw peanuts (optional) - I used them.
  • 10 dried long red chilies
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seed
  • 1/4 tsp mace - can substitute with 1/4 piece of nutmeg, coarsely pounded
  • 1 1/2 tbsp galangal
  • 2 tbsp lemongrass
  • 2 tbsp garlic
  • 3 tbsp shallot (approx. 1 large)
  • 1 tbsp coriander root
  • 1 tsp kaffir lime zest (approx. 1 kaffir lime)
  • 1/4 tsp shrimp paste (to taste) (optional)
Now I find the whole mortar and pestle very charming and old school but unfortunately I don't possess them, one day I am sure but for my take on this recipe, I used my trusty Ninja Kitchen Prep, love it. I dumped everything into the grinder until it made a lovely fragrant paste. For the spices, instead of the seeds, I used the powdered form, only because my Spices are getting out of hand and I need to used them up and free up some much needed space! I also used a regular lime because I couldn't find any Kaffir Limes.

Now at this point I know, your saying, what of the Pork? Well you will need: 
  • 1 whole pork tenderloin (approx. 1 pound or 2 cups once sliced) 
To prepare this pork, trim off all the fat then slice lengthwise in 4 strips, then cut each strip into thin slices, I guess on the bias would describe it best.

Now for the curry itself you will need the following:

Palm Sugar
  • 6 to 8 kaffir lime leaves - I did not have these.
  • 1 long red chili (for garnish)
  • 1/2 cup Thai basil (sweet basil)
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 cup thick coconut cream (to cook the paste)
  • 1 cup thick coconut cream (for the sauce)
  • 5 to 6 tbsp Panaeng paste
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk (optional, to garnish)
Now this all seems complicated but actually it is not. The trick is to have all the ingredients ready to go, as once you get started, its a pretty quick process. Once you have your ingredients ready or your Mise en place
squared away your ready to go. I know, get me with the whole Mise en place lol. The Rouxbe Videos kept using this phrase and it totally fascinated me lol.

Now at this point I heated my wok and once it was hot I added the first cup of coconut cream until it began to separate, about 3-4 minutes. At that point I added 5-6 tablespoons of Panaeng Paste and let it do its thing in the wok until it started to smell really nice, about 1-2 minutes. Then I threw in the pork until the outside looked cooked. I then added the the second cup of coconut cream and brought to a gentle boil as per the recipe.

Then I turned the heat down, and added the palm sugar and fish sauce, at which point I then let it all cook for a few minutes. Basically till you know the pork is cooked. You can always take a piece out and test it. Now as I said earlier, this started to look more like a green curry dish as opposed to the slightly darker color it should have looked like but I think I may have used too much coconut earlier. However, later when I plated the dish, it looked more like it should. Either way it smelled and tasted delicious.

When trying this recipe, once your happy that the Pork is cooked, it is ready to be plated with your favorite rice or noodles. I used Jasmine rice for this meal. The recipe does call for you to add a drizzle of coconut milk, some lime leaves, red chilies and basil but I omitted those because at this point, the kitchen and the food smelled so frigging awesome, we couldn't wait lol! Beverages of choice with this meal where Unsweetened Ice Tea and Riesling! Cheers my dears!

So I hope you guys will give this recipe a try and not be intimidated by some of the recipe ingredients, because you can always substitute where you need too, add or omit where it feels right too. At the end of the day its about having fun and not taking yourself too seriously. Oh and not giving yourself or anyone else food poisoning lol!

Now credit where credit is due. Take sometime to check out the recipe and the school at Panang Curry with Pork!

"To the ruler, the people are heaven; to the people, food is heaven."
(ancient Chinese proverb)


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