Thai Peanut Curry Pork with Spinach (Praram)
This is a delicious Thai-inspired dish with made with red curry, peanut butter and fragrant kaffir lime leaves. It's quick to prepare and immensely satisfying. Serve with steamed jasmine rice and a slightly sweet Riesling, spicy Gerwurtztraminer, or for those who prefer beer, try Singha, a pale lager brewed in Thailand.
- 1 lb boneless pork loin chops or boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 can unsweetened coconut milk (reduced fat is okay)
- 1 tablespoon red curry paste (more or less to taste)
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 kaffir lime leaves, veins removed and thinly sliced (see notes about substitutions)
- 7 ounces fresh spinach
- 1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup finely diced scallions
- Steamed jasmine rice
Trim any excess fat from the meat and cut into thin strips or small chunks as appropriate. Whisk the cornstarch and fish sauce together in a small bowl, add the meat and toss to coat. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Pour the coconut milk into a medium sized saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Whisk in the curry paste, peanut butter, fish sauce and sugar and blend until smooth.
Add the meat and kaffir lime leaves and continue to simmer gently until the meat is cooked through, 5 minutes. Taste for heat and add more curry paste if desired.
Add the spinach leaves, a handful at a time, stirring until they wilt in the hot liquid. Add the red bell pepper and scallions and remove from the heat.
Serve over a mounded portion of rice, drizzling additional sauce on top.
Makes 4 servings
Regular coconut milk makes a thicker and slightly richer sauce, but if you are watching your calories and fat, you can use the reduced-fat variety. If you do, you may need to add an additional 1 teaspoon of cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon of water to thicken the sauce before you add the spinach.
*About Kaffir Lime Leaves:
You can make this dish substituting the zest of one lime and 1 or 2 tablespoons of the fresh juice for the kaffir lime leaves. It will still have terrific flavor, but the unique aromatic quality the kaffir lime leaves impart will be missing.
If you can't locate kaffir lime leaves locally, there is a mail order source that will send them to you via Priority Mail for a very reasonable price. You can use some fresh, then freeze the balance of them whole, to use over the course of several months. They defrost in about 2 minutes and retain most of their vibrant flavor.