Samui Wining & Dining
Thai Recipe

Stir-fried Pork with Red Curry Paste and Yardlong Beans. Moo Pad Prik Tua Fak Yao.

Stir-fried Pork with Red Curry Paste and Yardlong Beans. Moo Pad Prik Tua Fak Yao.Although this dish can be found in every city, for many visitors to Thailand it seems to belong to the countryside; there’s a rustic charm about it, no doubt because of the bright green of the chopped beans. It’s full of flavour, with the red curry giving it a spicy appeal that’ll put you in the mood for a second helping. When making this dish, You can always substitute other kinds of beans, but try the yardlong variety if you can. They are available at every market in Thailand, but if you're in a place with a cold climate, you may have difficulty getting hold of them. They are also known as snake beans, asparagus beans, pea beans, or Chinese long beans. Despite the name, the beans are actually only about half a yard long; it would be more accurate if they were called one-and-a-half-foot-long beans, as in their Latin name – but that would sound all too clumsy. Whatever name you give to them, they’re a good source of protein, vitamin A, iron, and potassium, and even better when it comes to vitamin C, folate, magnesium, and manganese.

The pork that you use should be tender, and the results should not be too spicy, unless you particularly enjoy fiery dishes. The aroma and flavours of the paste makes this dish so tasty, it’s best not to swamp it with spiciness.

Ingredients: Curry Paste:
• 4 large chillies.
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tsp galangal
• 1 tbsp lemongrass, finely cut
• 1 tsp kaffir lime zest
• 1 tsp coriander root
• 6 peppercorns
• ½ cup of shallots
• 2 tbsp garlic
• 1 tsp shrimp paste
• 2 tbsp ground-up dried shrimps

Ingredients: Main Dish
• 350 g pork loin
• 150 g yardlong beans
• ¾ tbsp fish sauce
• 2 to 3 tbsp vegetable oil
• 3 tbsp palm sugar
• 1 ½ tbsp kaffir lime leaves
• 1 chilli, exceedingly finely sliced
• 1 tsp salt
• 85 g curry paste


First and foremost start with the paste. You can easily save time by buying in a packet, but it’s more fun and, dare we say it, a lot tastier if you make your own. It’s not difficult. All you need is a pestle and mortar and a few extra minutes. Any leftover paste can safely be frozen for another occasion. Best of all, make a whole batch in one go, and you'll be ready to make this dish again and again. Start by finely slicing the ingredients and then soak the chillies until they're soft. Next, pound the chillies together with the salt in a mortar, until they become a paste, then add the other ingredients, except for the shrimps. These go in last of all, and then the mixture is given a final mashing. Now set aside.

Clean the pork. Make sure that you wash it thoroughly and then pat dry using a paper towel. Next take a sharp knife and cut into bite-sized pieces. Place the diced meat into a bowl and fold in a teaspoon of fish sauce. Let stand for a few minutes although this step is not completely necessary if you're in a hurry. Put a little vegetable oil into a heavy-duty pan and then gently fry the pork on medium heat in order to lightly brown. Set aside.

Now turn your attention to the yardlong beans, which should first be thoroughly cleaned and then have their ends cut off. Add a ½ teaspoon of salt to a pan of boiling water and then blanch for about three minutes. Then take them off the heat and allow them to cool completely to room temperature. Once they are cool chop them into one-inch lengths or smaller.

Now it's time to bring everything together. Clean out your pan and add the vegetable oil, stir in the paste that you’ve made and let it heat through. Stir at intervals until you can detect a very fine aroma. Now add the pork and stir fry. Continue for about three or four minutes before adding the sugar and the remaining fish sauce. Finally add the beans and stir until they are done.

The dish is now complete. Serve with rice and top with the chilli if needed and/or some chopped-up kaffir lime leaves.


Dimitri Waring


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