© Copyright 1995-2020, Clay Irving <email@example.com>, Manhattan Beach, CA USA
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Recipe from: Colonel Ian F. Khuntilanont-Philpott
There are a number of possible translations of the title of this dish, which is from the milder "Royal Thai" tradition. Phraram is the name given in Thai to the God Rama, or the title of the King. The title can be translated by those of a poetic nature to mean food so good it makes the king cry...
Because this is a mild, Royal Thai, dish, I give two methods, which differ slightly in that one is mild and has complex flavors, the other is more in line with the country tradition of not throwing away anything that can be eaten, and is a little more potent, as suits the provincial palatte.
This dish can be made with pork, beef, chicken or shrimp. shrimp require less cooking and beef rather more. This version is made with pork
1 cup of pork, cut into small bite sized pieces
1 cup of phak bung (swamp cabbage), shredded
Note that phak bung (water spinach/swamp cabbage) is very common - almost a weed - in Thailand. In the West where it is probably unobtainable, use spinach or kale.
To flavor the oil
garlic, ginger, prik ki nu daeng (red birdseye chilis), and phom kari (mild curry powder). according to the method. If Thai curry powder isn't available use a mild Indian curry.
For the sauce
1 tablespoon of garlic, very finely chopped
1 tablespoon of massaman curry paste
1 cup of coconut milk
1 cup of pork stock
1 tablespoon sugar
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon lime juice
half a cup of raw peanuts, crushed
Heat a wok, and add three tablespoons of peanut oil, add one teaspoon of slivered garlic, and sautee until the garlic is just changing color. Remove and discard the garlic. Add 4 'coins' of ginger, 1" in diameter, and an eigth of an inch thick, and sautee for 1 minute, remove and discard. take 4 red chilis and destalk them, cut them in half and tap them on the counter to remove loose seeds, sautee for 1 minute, remove and discard. Now add one teaspoon of curry powder and stir until absorbed into the flavored oil.
For the provincial version, to the hot oil add 1 tablespoon of slivered garlic, one tablespoon of slivered ginger, and 1 tablespoon of very thinly sliced chilis, including the seeds, then remove the flavorants, add 1 tablespoon of curry powder and blend into the oil. The garlic, ginger and chili is then blended to a fine paste and retained to be added later.
Now stir fry the meat for about 1 minute, and remove it from the oil whilst you prepare the sauce.
Fry the peanuts for about 5 minutes in the oil, then remove them and blend them to a fine paste, and return the paste to the oil, adding the curry paste and stirring until aromatic (if you can't find curry paste use a further tablespoon of curry powder), now slowly add the coconut milk, stirring constantly to blend, and then add the remaining sauce ingredients, then bring to a gentle simmer.
If preparing the provincial version, return the oil flavorants to the mix at this time.
Add the meat, and return to the simmer, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes, until the meat is tender.
Add the vegetables, turn the heat up and boil vigorously for 1 minute.
Serve with jasmine rice.
We cooked this to check the recipe in a 16" wok that is 6" deep - if your wok is smaller or shallower you may not wish to have this much sauce in a wok, and of course you can complete the recipe in a medium saucepan.