Naam ngeow (northern thai pork curry)
Serves 4-6 Prep time 20 minutes
Cooktime about 2 hours
2 tbsp olive oil
500g minced pork
1kg short pork ribs
1 medium onion, diced
3 tbsp garlic
4 tbsp belachan (fermented prawn paste)
2 tbsp fermented soy bean paste (preferably Thai)
1 tbsp Thai curry paste
2-3 tsp fresh ginger, crushed
1 tsp chilli padi, crushed
2 tsp dark soy sauce
fish sauce to taste
¼ cup (1 bunch) coriander stalks
2 tbsp dried Ngeow flower, chopped (available at Thai groceries)
water (as needed to cover meat)
1½kg thin rice noodles (vermicelli)
for garnish (place each item in individual bowls)
crispy roasted garlic
fresh bean sprouts
chopped coriander leaves
thinly sliced cabbage
crispy chicken skin
crispy pork crackling
• Heat olive oil in a heavy-based pot (or pressure cooker) over high heat and brown the minced pork, pork ribs, onion and 2 tbsp of the garlic, about 5 minutes.
• Meanwhile, with mortar and pestle, mash together the belachan and fermented soy bean paste, curry paste, ginger, chilli padi, soy sauce, fish sauce, coriander stalks, Ngeow flower and remaining garlic into a paste.
• Add the mixed paste to the pot with the pork and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid burning.
• Add enough water to cover the pork and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until pork ribs are very tender (about 1½ hours) and liquid has thickened slightly. Note: a pressure cooker can be used to speed up the tenderising of the pork.
• While the curry simmers, boil the rice noodles to al dente and let cool to room temperature.
• When the pork ribs are very tender, taste the curry for seasoning, add fish sauce as desired. Transfer curry to serving bowl.
• To serve, put some noodles in a bowl and ladle a portion of the curry over them. Top with bean sprouts, coriander and assorted garnishes as desired.
• Squeeze a wedge of lime over it.