Southern Thai Pork Rib Curry (แกงพริกกระดูกหมู)
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Thai
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
  • 2 heaping tablespoons red curry paste
  • 6 pieces of fresh turmeric (each measuring about one inch long), or 1½ tablespoons ground turmeric (Not nearly good as fresh in this recipe, but it will do.)
  • 30 (not a typo) fresh, preferably red, Thai bird's eye chilies (See post for more information.)
  • 2 teaspoons Thai shrimp paste
  • 2 teaspoons whole white or black peppercorns
  • 2.5 pounds rib tips (See post for comments and suggested alternatives.)
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • 2 teaspoon palm sugar or 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 3-4 fresh kaffir lime leaves, torn and bruised (optional)
  1. Make a smooth paste out of the first five ingredients using a granite mortar. Alternatively, since, in this particular case, you're going to be dissolving the paste in water anyway, you can also put all the paste ingredients in a blender, along with just enough water to get the blades going, and puree until smooth.
  2. Cut the rib tips into 3-inch cubes and put them in a half-gallon saucepan. Add the prepared paste to the saucepan along with one teaspoon of salt, the sugar, and just enough water to cover the ribs. The level of the water should come up about half an inch above the meat.
  3. Cover the saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn the heat to medium-low to keep the water bubbling only gently and continue to cook, covered, for another 45 minutes after that point (use your own judgment in terms of cooking time, if you use a different cut of meat from what the recipe calls for). Every 15 minutes or so, you will need to check on the water level to make sure that it's always half an inch above the pork. Since the saucepan is covered for the entire duration of the cooking, not much water should evaporate (plus you get some moisture that is released from the meat). But if necessary, replenish the water to maintain the original level and adjust the heat as needed to maintain the gentle simmer. If you use pork belly, you can remove some of the excess fat that rises to the top -- or not; you call.
  4. After 45 minutes have passed, check on the liquid level; at the end of the cooking process you want it to be the same as when you first started. So if there's too much, remove the lid for better evaporation and reduce it until it reaches the original level. If there's too little, add more water and heat the whole thing through. By this time the meat should already be tender. Taste the curry broth to see if it needs the remaining one teaspoon of salt, keeping in mind that you'll be serving the curry with bland rice. When that's done, stir in the kaffir lime leaves and take the pot off the heat.
  5. Serve with cooked jasmine rice and fresh vegetables on the side. Thick slices of cucumber go particularly well with this.
Recipe by SheSimmers at