Southern Thai Dry Curry (Khua Kling) and Khua Kling Pak Sod Restaurant
Recipe type: Curry
Cuisine: Thai
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
  • 15 dried red bird's eye chilies (no substitute, not even dried red long chilies or guajillos), stemmed (do not devein), soaked whole in warm water until soft, squeezed dry
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white peppercorns
  • 1½ tablespoons coarsely chopped galangal
  • 2 tablespoons thin slices lemongrass (refer to page 206 of Simple Thai Food for detailed explanation on how to prepare lemongrass for a curry paste)
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh turmeric roots
  • 1½ tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro roots or stems
  • 2 teaspoons finely sliced makrut (kaffir) lime rind
  • 2 teaspoons packed shrimp paste
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fingerroot or krachai (Read about this herb on pages 204-205 of Simple Thai Food)
  • 10 red (don't use green) bird's eye chilies
  • 2 tablespoons finely sliced shallots
  • 1¼ pounds ground pork (not too fatty and not too lean)
  • 1 teaspoon palm sugar or ½ teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper (preferably freshly ground)
  • Fish sauce, to taste
  • 4-5 large kaffir lime leaves, deveined and sliced into whisker-thin strips
  • Additional 7-8 fresh bird's eye chilies, optional
  • Sides vegetables: yard-long beans (or green beans), cucumbers, napa cabbage, green cabbage
  1. Pound the curry paste ingredients (starting with the chilies all the way down to the shallots) into a smooth paste (refer to page 175 of Simple Thai Food for detailed explanation on how to pound curry ingredients in a mortar).
  2. Put the paste and the pork in a wok or 12-inch frying pan. Set over medium heat and stir-fry, breaking up the pork into fine pieces with the blunt end of the spatula along the way. When the pork barely turn opaque, stir in the palm sugar, ground turmeric, ground pepper, and 2 teaspoons of the fish sauce to start. Continue to stir-fry until there's no moisture left in the wok and the pork has cooked through. (The whole process shouldn't take about 10-15 minutes—this is not a quick stir-fry. "Toast" everything slowly and thoroughly.) Taste and add more fish sauce as needed. You want this dish to be salty and hot—very hot—and almost no trace of sweetness (the sugar is there only to round out the flavor).
  3. Stir in the kaffir lime leaves and take off the heat.
  4. Serve with lots of rice and cool, crisp vegetables alongside.
Recipe by SheSimmers at