Phat Phrik Khing Muu (Red Curry with Pork Belly and Green Beans)
This recipe, adapted from one in David Thompson's Thai Food (Ten Speed Press, 2002), belongs to a category of curries called phat phrik khing, or “dry curry.” It's caramelized in pork fat rather than cracked coconut cream, and there's no coconut milk for gravy, making the flavors of the paste—citrusy lemongrass, gingery krachai, briny shrimp—more pronounced. Begin with a fresh, well-balanced paste, then watch it closely so it doesn't burn. And while American cooks might find it counterintuitive to plunge pork belly into hot water, boiling and then browning the fatty meat gives it an excellent texture: crispy outside, soft within. This recipe first appeared in our October 2013 issue with Andy Ricker's article The Star of Siam.