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Red Curry with Pork and Watercress

Servings: 3 to 4

You won’t find this curry in many Thai restaurants in the States, but it’s a popular choice among Bangkok residents. The sauce is thick and velvety thanks to a generous amount of coconut milk, which imparts sweetness. Its sweet profile is balanced by the mellow heat from the curry paste and sourness from the lime. If you’re able to find it, use morning glory in place of the watercress. That’s more authentically Thai. For a leaner option, swap pork butt for the pork belly. Serve the curry on generous helpings of steamed jasmine rice.


  • 2 Tbs. coconut or vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. pork belly, skin removed, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 1/4 cup Red Curry Paste
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 7 oz. watercress or morning glory, cut into 3-inch pieces (4 cups chopped)
  • 3 Tbs. tamarind concentrate or apple-cider vinegar; more to taste (see Tip)
  • 2 Tbs. fish sauce; more to taste
  • 2 Tbs. palm or brown sugar; more to taste
  • 1 kaffir lime, halved, or 3 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
  • Lime wedges, for serving

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 550
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 420
  • Fat (g): 47
  • Saturated Fat (g): 32
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8
  • Cholesterol (mg): 45
  • Sodium (mg): 970
  • Carbohydrates (g): 19
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Sugar (g): 9
  • Protein (g): 19


  • Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Sear the pork on all sides until browned. Transfer the pork to a plate. Discard all but 2 Tbs. of the oil from the pan.
  • Return the pan to medium-high heat, add the curry paste, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. The paste will spatter, so use a lid or splatter guard. Add the coconut milk and pork with its juices; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer, slightly covered, until the meat is tender, 45 to 50 minutes. Add water to ensure that the pork remains submerged.
  • Once the pork is tender, add the watercress, tamarind, fish sauce, sugar, and lime. Return to a boil. Season to taste with more sugar, tamarind, and fish sauce. Turn off the heat, and let stand for 30 minutes to let the lime infuse the curry. Remove and discard the lime, and then serve the curry.


Use a light-colored tamarind concentrate, such as Nuoc Me Chua Concentrated Tamarind.


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