How To Make: Phat Phrik Khing

Today was a clean out the fridge kinda dinner, and here's some of what I came across:

Long beans, pork, curry paste... I know what you're thinking: You can make phat phrik khing! Well, that's what I thought, and here's how to go about it.

Phat phrik khing is a very easy dish to make, and is probably one of the first Thai dishes I ever learned to make. I think most of the ingredients, including the curry paste, are generally available in the West nowadays, so go ahead and give this one a try if you're new to Thai food. Going from my mise en place, here's exactly what you'll need:

Starting at 6 o'clock you have some parboiled long beans. These are made by taking long beans, chopping them into 1-inch lengths, and boiling them in salty water, immediately plunging them into cool water to stop the cooking process. Actually you don't have to parboil the beans first--you can just fry them in the curry, but I think this is easier. Continuing clockwise we have three or four kaffir lime leaves sliced as finely as possible, sugar, water, cooking oil and fish sauce. At 3 o'clock we have some phat phrik khing curry paste that I bought pre-made a few days ago. And in the middle is pork cut into bite-sized pieces.

First, using a generous amount of oil, fry the curry paste over med-high heat in a wok until it is fragrant and a layer of red oil has begun to emerge:

Then add your pork, coating it with the curry paste:

Continue frying and stirring until the pork is fully cooked, at which point the mixture should be quite dry. Add about a 1/2 cup or so of water, turning up the heat, and fry, stirring constantly, until the mixture is reduced and curry-like:

At this point season the mixture to taste with fish sauce and sugar (Thais like this dish sweet--I don't), and add your long beans and kaffir lime leaf slivers. As the long beans are already cooked, you really just want to heat them through here:

And you're done:

You could make with any meat you like--my particular favorite is big chunks of a particular kind of crispy dried fish--but pork is the most common. I had mine with hot rice and a fried egg.