Burmese pork curry

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This Burmese pork curry recipe is the perfect example of how slow-cooking meat can transform its texture and flavour. Giving the meat a rinse in vinegar was thought to help clean it, but gives it a nice tang that balances with the richness of the fat. This is a simple, delicious recipe that uses basic home ingredients, and you can have it on the table in two hours.

This recipe is taken from Mandalay: Recipes and Tales from a Burmese Kitchen by MiMi Aye (£26, Bloomsbury). Photography by Cristian Barnett.

First published in 2019

This classic curry from Mogok, my mother's hometown, is more or less used to wean Burmese children – my nephews and nieces can eat bowls and bowls of the stuff, as it's sweet and mild, yet addictive.

Before my youngest nephew could talk properly, whenever he visited his grandparents he'd ask for 'pok and yice' (pork and rice), and I'm pleased to say that my own children are now equally big fans.

This curry freezes very well and will keep frozen for up to a month.





Toss the pork thoroughly in the vinegar, then discard the vinegar (this imparts a slight sourness and is traditionally thought to clean the pork). Place the pork in a large saucepan and add enough water to just submerge. Cover the pan with a lid and bring to the boil over a high heat. Turn the heat down to medium-low and continue to simmer, with the lid on, for 15 minutes
Remove the pork and set aside, reserving the cooking liquor in a bowl. Do not wash the saucepan – you'll reuse it later
Pound the ginger into a rough pulp using a pestle and mortar, then add 2 tablespoons of water to make a ginger juice, then strain through a sieve, squeezing as much liquid out of the pulp as possible. Discard the pulp and reserve the liquid
Heat the oil in the same saucepan used to boil the pork over a medium-high heat. Add the diced pork and fry for 4–5 minutes until browned all over. Add the onion wedges and ginger juice, then stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the reserved pork cooking liquor, sugar, soy sauces and pepper along with 500ml of water and bring to the boil
Turn down the heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours until the sauce is sticky and reduced
When the time is up, the pork should be tender and fall apart if you poke it with a fork. Serve with lots of fluffy white rice and stir-fried greens on the side
First published in 2019

British-born to Burmese parents as a 'third culture kid', MiMi Aye has always moved between two worlds, and she has spent her whole life soaking up Burmese food, language, and culture through endless trips to see family and friends in Myanmar, as well as back in the UK.

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