Ingredient Notes, Cook’s Tips, and FAQs
- Thai ingredients: Kaffir lime leaves, Asian red shallots, galangal, fresh turmeric, lemongrass stalks, and shrimp paste can be found at a Thai specialty ingredients store, and possibly some large Asian grocery stores depending on your location. Shrimp paste is also available online. You can substitute 1/2 cup of chopped red onion for the shallots.
- Ground pork: Try to use a ground pork that is not too lean or too fatty. It should be able to render a little fat so that you don’t have to use cooking oil (it alters the flavor), but not excessively fatty so that your stir-fry ends up becoming very greasy. But if absolutely necessary, add a little oil to the wok before you add the pork.
- To make this milder: Use half of the curry paste for the stir-fry and freeze the other half for a later date. Authentic Khua Kling is meant to be very fiery and spicy, and eaten with cooling vegetables to cool the palate. But if you prefer, you could use fewer fresh chilies for the curry paste.
- Make the southern Thai curry paste a day in advance to save time. This way, you can make the stir-fry in a matter of minutes. Store in a sealed airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Can I use a different non-vegetarian protein? Ground chicken, beef, or turkey all would work well. You could also use finely chopped slices of the aforementioned meats if you prefer.
- Can I make this vegetarian/vegan? Use textured vegetable protein (TVP), crumbled firm tofu, or finely chopped brown Asian mushrooms in place of the pork. Also use miso paste in place of the shrimp paste, and a vegan fish sauce or soy sauce.
- How do I store leftovers? Store leftovers for 3-4 days in a sealed airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, stirring once in between, until hot throughout.
- Can I freeze this? The paste can be made up to two months ahead and frozen in a sealed airtight container. Thaw on the counter until no longer solid for a few hours (or overnight in the fridge) before using. I haven’t tried freezing the stir-fry, and don’t recommend doing so.
- Recipe adapted from Marion’s Kitchen.