Kua kling mu – Dry-fried pork and green peppercorns

  • Main
  • easy
  • 2
  • 15 minutes, plus 20 minutes to soak the chillies



First published in 2022
Share recipe

This dry-style curry hails from Southern Thailand and holds all the classic characteristics of dishes from this region – hot and salty with tones of fresh turmeric, lemongrass and makrut lime leaf. It’s one of my favourite dishes to eat, but be warned I’ve had versions before in Thailand that have nearly given me a nosebleed from the heavy use of chillies!

I’ve pulled back the heat in this recipe, but only slightly, as the chilli spice is integral for a true kua kling. The dish is always eaten with freshly steamed rice and with plenty of cooling vegetables to hand like cucumber and cabbage.




Curry Paste

Dry Fried Pork


To make the curry paste, begin by soaking the dried bird's eye chillies in water, until soft – around 20 minutes. Drain and squeeze out the excess liquid 


Pound the chillies in a stone pestle and mortar with all the other curry paste ingredients, until very smooth. Set aside


Add the vegetable oil to a wok and warm over a low heat, then add the minced pork and 2 tablespoons of curry paste. Mash and stir together allowing the curry paste and pork to combine and cook into each other. Once the pork is almost cooked through and the curry paste is no longer raw (around 5 minutes) season with the fish sauce and palm sugar


Add the lemongrass, green peppercorns, chillies and the torn lime leaves. Continue to mix and mash the ingredients together for a further minute, so the green peppercorns and chillies bruise, releasing their heat. If the contents of the wok are catching too much, then moisten with water, one tablespoon at a time, ensuring to evaporate the liquid each time so you're left with a dry dish at the end


The pork will taste spicy and salty, with a fragrance of lemongrass and turmeric. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with the shredded makrut lime leaves. Serve with steamed rice and a selection of raw cooling vegetables

  • 2 makrut lime leaves, finely shredded
First published in 2022
Share recipe