Friday, May 29, 2015

Pad Prik Khing Moo / Thai Spicy Stir-fry Pork and Green Beans

I haven’t mentioned about my three weeks vacation to my homeland, Thailand, have I?   Well, there were so many things and so much to talk about my trip.  But if I start talking about it, there would never be an end of the story.  Not that I don’t want to share, but I can tell you this.  I ate a lot!  I also gained a few pounds! And I just don’t care!   Would you worry about gaining weight on your vacation?  Nah. I don’t think so!   Anyway, I had an AMAZING and MEMORABLE time with my family that will last forever.

Back to LA, I’m trying to settle down with my normal life without my family around except the hubby and my two dogs. It feels good to be home though I’m still missing the real authentic Thai food especially from the street vendors.  They are the BEST!

Whenever I feel a little homesick, I usually cook something that will remind me of “home.”  Pad Prik Khing is one of many Thai dishes I make more often.   This dish is quite well-known and popular among Thai people.  It absolutely contains some heat from the chili paste but not too overly spicy as you might think when you see the picture.  

The prik khing chili paste can be made from scratch but why bother when it can be purchased conveniently at Asian supermarkets.  I usually use the same Thai brand – MaeSri that comes in a small four ounces container, and it can be used twice if making for s few people.  However, the chili paste can be added more or less depending on your liking of spicy. The dish has the balance flavors of saltiness and sweetness, and the unique scent and taste from the kaffir lime leaves.  And this dish is needed to be served with steamed jasmine rice.  Pad prik khing takes little times to cook as long as all the ingredients are prepared and ready to go.  However, there is nothing much to prepare since it has only few main ingredients, and it can be made with any meat of your choice including seafood.   I had made this dish before with shrimp – Pad prik khing goong and posted earlier on my blog. This time I pad (stir-fry) prik khing with moo (pork).  If you are not Thai and trying to make this dish, you may find it a little bit annoying when you try to look for fish sauce and kaffir lime leaves.   The fish sauce might be easier to find at any Asian supermarket, but to look for a package of fresh kaffir lime leaves might be a little difficult since not every Asian supermarket has it.   I get a little irritate sometimes when I can’t find it when I really need it, and I have to go to a certain store that has it far away from my house just to get it.  And when I find it, I will buy a few packages (it comes in a little package) and put them in the freezer for later use.  However, if I leave them too long in the freezer, the bright green color of its leaf will turn brown from the frost bite and diminish the aroma of the kaffir lime leaves.  I usually forget to use them on time before they are completely become useless.

Anyway, I plan to plant my own kaffir lime tree in my backyard in the near future.   By all means, if it’s too hard to find, just use sweet basil leaves or Thai holy basil, but not the Thai basil because the distinctive flavor of the Thai basil is completely different and might change flavor of the whole dish.   Oh, one thing that is missing from my photos is the thinly slices of red chili pepper just for garnishing, otherwise, you won’t miss a thing. 

 What you need:  can be served up to 4 servings
8 oz. pork meat, thinly sliced in bite size
8 oz. green beans, cut into 1 1/2 inches long
2 tbsp. Thai Prik Khing chili paste 
1 tbsp. fish sauce
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp. thinly julienned kaffir lime leaves
2 tbsp. cooking oil
*steamed white/brown rice to be served with

1. Blanch the green beans and set them aside.  To do this, bring water to a full rolling boil in a medium pot, add the green beans and let them cook for about 3-4 minute. Then quickly remove, strain, and transfer to the prepared ice-water bowl to stop them from cooking and to preserve the green color.  ***you can skip this step by adding the green beans directly into the pan at the same time of seasoning on step 3.
2. Heat the cooking oil in the sauté pan over medium heat.  After the oil get hot, add Prik Khing chili paste and stir-fry until it’s fragrant and the oil turns a little red.

3. Add the pork meat, turn the heat up to high, and cook the meat about 3 minutes. Then seasoning with fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar and stir to combine.  At this point, the pan will quickly get too dry, add 1/4 cup of water, stir, and cook for another minute or until the pork meat is cook.  There should be some water left as a sauce.  *Add more water if it’s too dry.

4. Add the blanched green beans and kaffir lime leaves, stir to mix well, and then take off the heat immediately. 

5.  Serve pad prik khing with steamed rice and enjoy! 

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