Vietnamese pork curry

vietnamese pork curry

Peter Penguin says...

I'm so hungover.

(Serves six)


  • 2 lemon grass stalks
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves, halved
  • 1 long red chilli, halved and roughly chopped
  • 25g chunk of fresh root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • Small bunch of fresh coriander, plus extra to garnish
  • 1.5kg boneless, rindless pork shoulder (buy thickly cut steaks if you like)
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 4 tsp garam masala
  • 4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1½ tsp turmeric
  • 400ml can of coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 1 large sweet potato (about 400g)
  • Juice of 1 lime (2½ tsp)
  • Flaked sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Trim the lemon grass at each end and remove the papery outer layers. Chop the stalks into thin slices – you need about 20g – and put into a food processor with the onion, garlic, chilli, ginger and coriander. Blitz to a fine paste.
  2. Cut the pork into rough 3cm chunks and season.
  3. Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and cook the pork in two or three batches over a fairly high heat until nicely browned, adding a little extra oil if necessary. Transfer the pork to a large flameproof casserole dish. Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/gas mark 5.
  4. Add the remaining oil, the paste, garam masala, cumin and turmeric to the frying pan. Fry over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture smells fragrant and is beginning to colour.
  5. Add the coconut milk and stir well.
  6. Tip the mixture into the casserole dish. Add 400ml cold water, stir in the fish sauce, season with lots of black pepper and bring to the boil.
  7. Remove from the heat, cover with a lid and place in the oven for one hour.
  8. Just before the hour is up, peel the sweet potato and cut it into rough 3cm chunks. Add this to the curry, stir well and cover the surface with a crumpled sheet of baking parchment to prevent the sauce reducing too much.
  9. Return to the oven without a lid and cook for a further 45-60 minutes or until the pork is very tender and the sauce is fairly thick.
  10. Stir in the lime juice and a little more salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with chopped fresh coriander and serve with rice.