On August 18, you're invited to participate in an intimate virtual cooking class with TL Insider's Chef-in-Residence Nuit Regular, where she will demonstrate how to make one of her favourite dishes, Red Curry Pork.
As Executive Chef and Co-Owner of the incredibly popular restaurants Pai Northern Thai Kitchen, Sabai Sabai, Sukhothai, and Kiin–Nuit has introduced Canadians to an exceptional standard of Thai dining. With a cookbook on the way and an exciting new position as TL Insider’s chef-in-residence, she is keeping Toronto well-fed, even amidst a pandemic. Below, find an excerpt from Chef Nuit Regular's forthcoming cookbook, Kiin: Recipes and Stories from Northern Thailand, that includes the ingredients and steps needed for you to follow along in the virtual class.
Red Curry Pork / Gaeng Phed Moo
Red curry pork was the first special dish that my mother made for me on my birthday. I would spend the morning gathering ingredients for my mother to make the curry. This team effort makes the memory of this curry stay close to my heart.
The pork is perfectly balanced with the different spices, giving you a multi-textured dish that opens up your entire palate. This dish pairs well with Spicy and Sour Soup with Shrimp with Tom Yum Paste. My mother taught me to first mix the coconut sugar with some curry sauce. If you add the sugar directly to the pot, it does not always fully dissolve. This method makes a big difference to the flavour.
Note: you’ll need to marinate the pork for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- 7 ounces (200 g) pork shoulder blade, cut against the grain into long strips about 1½ inches wide and 1/8 inch thick
- Standard Meat Marinade (recipe follows)
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 Thai, Indian, or Chinese eggplants
- 1 cup thick part of coconut milk
- ¼ cup Red Curry Paste (recipe follows)
- ½ cup bite-size pieces peeled butternut squash
- 1¼ cups well-shaken coconut milk + 1¼ cups water, well combined (this is your thin coconut milk)
- 2 fresh red spur chilies, cut crosswise into 1½-inch pieces
- 1 cup packed fresh Thai basil leaves
- 5 magrud lime leaves
- 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- Steamed Jasmine Rice (recipe follows), for serving
- In a medium bowl, combine the pork and the standard meat marinade. Mix with your hands. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. The pork should absorb all the marinade. If not, wipe away the excess marinade before adding the pork to the pot.
- Prepare the eggplant: In a medium bowl, stir together the water, lime juice, and salt. Trim the ends off each eggplant, then cut lengthwise into quarters. Add to the bowl and soak to prevent the eggplant from turning brown. Set aside. Drain and rinse just before cooking.
- In a medium pot over high heat, heat the thick coconut milk until it bubbles thoroughly, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the red curry paste, pork, and squash and stir to mix. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. The curry paste should start to bubble and the oil will rise to the top. Add the thin coconut milk and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes.
- Add the eggplant and cook, stirring constantly to fully submerge the eggplant to prevent it from turning brown. Add the chilies, Thai basil leaves, lime leaves, and fish sauce. Mix well and cook for another minute. Remove from the heat.
- In a small bowl, stir together the coconut sugar and ½ cup of the curry sauce until the sugar is fully dissolved, then stir into the pot. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.
Standard Meat Marinade / Nham Mhak Nua Sud
Makes enough to marinate 2/3 to 1 pound (300 to 450 g) of meat
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 teaspoon tapioca starch
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2/3 to 1 pound (300 to 450 g) chicken, pork, or beef
- In a medium bowl, combine the water, vegetable oil, tapioca starch, and salt. Stir until the salt and starch have fully dissolved.
- Add the meat to the bowl and mix well. I like to stir the meat in a clockwise motion to massage until all the liquid has been absorbed. Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Red Curry Paste / Gaeng Phed
Makes ½ cup
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- ¼ teaspoon black cumin seeds
- 15 white peppercorns
- 7 dried red spur chilies, seeded, cut into small pieces, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes until softened, and squeezed dry
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup thinly sliced lemongrass (about 2 stalks)
- 1 tablespoon thinly sliced galangal
- 1 teaspoon grated magrud lime zest
- ¼ cup unpeeled Thai garlic cloves or thinly sliced peeled regular garlic
- ¼ cup thinly sliced shallots
- 1 tablespoon + 1½ teaspoons Thai shrimp paste
- Heat a small skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and white peppercorns and toast, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.
- Using a stone mortar and pestle, grind the toasted spices to a fine powder. Add the chilies, paprika, and salt and grind to a paste. One at a time, and pounding to a paste after each addition, add the lemongrass, galangal, lime zest, garlic, shallots, and shrimp paste. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Steamed Jasmine Rice / Khao Seuw
- 1½ cups jasmine rice
- 2 cups water, at room temperature
- Place the rice in a medium strainer or fine-mesh sieve over the sink. Rinse the rice well under cold running water for 1 minute. Drain well.
- Transfer the rice to a medium saucepan, cover with the water, and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally with a metal spoon. Once the water reaches a rolling boil, cook, uncovered, for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring constantly with the wooden spoon and making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the pot to prevent sticking. The water should be evaporated to the level of the rice. If not, continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes more.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir, and let sit, covered, for 2 to 3 minutes. If the rice is too soft, cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
Kiin: Recipes and Stories from Northern Thailand is available October 20, 2020. Pre-order your copy here.
How it works:
To participate, simply purchase the ingredients below, grab your apron and join the class. You can also simply follow along and try the recipe at a later time. All TL Insiders are welcome to this virtual cooking experience and a video will be sent out after the class.
Excerpted from Kiin by Nuit Regular. Copyright © 2020 by Nuit Regular. Photography copyright © 2020 by Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott. Published by Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.