This Thai Curry-inspired recipe for braised pork ribs is easy and delicious. Made using authentic flavors of galangal (Siamese ginger), dried chilies and coriander, this one-pot dinner is served with rice and broccolini.
One of my goals this year is to experiment (broadly) Asian cooking more. I’ve always been a fan of flavors from this part of the world whether it be Indian, Thai or Japanese cooking. The ingredients and spices used always bring about so much flavor and color in the dishes making them not only tasty but beautiful too. Today, I’m sharing my take on an authentic red Thai curry.
This recipe was created after paging through an authentic Thai cookbook that I bookmarked probably 30 or 40 recipes in. Each sounded so delicious. However as I made my grocery list, I quickly realized making these authentic dishes was going to be a process. While most ingredients were available at my local store, some would require ordering online or trekking to my local Asian market.
While I enjoyed learning how to make an authentic Thai curry, I knew most people would not be up for the same challenge. I was determined to find a short cut that would preserve the most distinctive flavors of a classic Thai curry while also substituting more readily accessible ingredients into the recipe. The result? A single-pot meal of tender braised pork ribs in a sinfully rich, spicy and flavorful sauce.
How to Make Thai Curry
Step 1: Season & Sear
This recipe begins by seasoning and searing the pork ribs on all sides in a hot wok or large skillet. Take a moment to pat the ribs dry before seasoning. This will help a nice crust form on the outside of the ribs to lock in moisture and add lots of flavor. Remove the pork ribs from the pan once seared and turn the heat down to medium.
Step 2: Make the Thai Curry Sauce
To start the curry sauce, saute the garlic and shallot in the pan drippings for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add the galangal, cumin, coriander and remaining salt and pepper before stirring in the anchovy paste, dried chiles, Fresno peppers, basil, lime zest and lime juice. Cook until the mixture becomes fragrant, 1-2 minutes and then add the coconut milk, coconut cream, fish sauce and sugar. Stir all the ingredients together and then bring to a simmer.
Note: If there’s one ingredient I really recommend that you find for this recipe it’s the galangal. While ground ginger is an okay substitute, it doesn’t have quite the same taste. Galangal is more woodsy and citrusy while ginger is more sharp and spicy. I buy mine from Penzey’s but you can also find Galangal on Amazon too.
Step 3: Braise
Once the sauce is simmering, you can return the seared pork ribs to the wok. Cover the wok with a tight-fitting lid and then reduce to medium-low. Let the pork braise for 45-60 minutes. The pork is ready when it’s soft, tender and almost falling apart when lifted from the sauce.
Step 4: Blend and Add Vegetables
When the pork is fully cooked, remove it to a serving platter. Next, using an immersion blender, puree the Thai curry until smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender you can also carefully transfer the hot cooking liquid to a blender or food processor. I like to use the immersion blender because it keeps everything in one pan for easier cleanup.
Once the sauce is smooth, return the pork to the sauce and then add the sliced bok choy, drained bamboo shoots and the broccolini spears. Let the vegetables simmer in the sauce with the meat until tender—8 to 10 minutes. When the vegetables are tender, turn off the heat and serve.
Step 5: Garnish and Serve
I like to serve this Thai curry over steamed jasmine rice and garnish with additional basil, lime wedges and cilantro. This curry runs medium in terms of heat, so I also like to serve this with some additional sliced chiles. This way those who want additional heat can doctor up their own bowls to their liking.
Do you like to experiment with flavors in the kitchen? I would love to learn how to cook a dish from every country one day. There are so many different world flavors to play with it seems a shame to limit yourself to only those that you know. This Thai curry is a great first step if you’re looking to broaden your palette and try cooking with some new ingredients.
If you try these Braised Thai Curry Pork Ribs, please leave a comment below with your thoughts and a rating. You can also snap a picture of your creation and tag me on social media. It’s @frydaeblog and #frydaeblog absolutely everywhere! Thanks so much for stopping by and Happy Frydae!
Looking for recipes from other parts of the world? Try out this Bavarian Stuffed Pretzel Wreath for a little taste of Germany.
Braised Thai Curry Pork Ribs
- 2 pounds boneless pork ribs thawed
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt divided
- 1 teaspoon black pepper divided
- 6 tablespoons garlic minced
- 1 large shallot thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon galangal or ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
- 5-6 dried thai or chinese chiles
- 1/4 cup thai basil or traditional basil chopped
- 2-3 fresno, serrano of jalapeno peppers sliced
- 1 whole lime juiced and zested
- 28 ounces canned unsweetened coconut milk 2 cans
- 14 ounces canned coconut cream 1 can
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 14 ounces canned bamboo shoots drained
- 1 bunch fresh broccolini or broccoli
- 2 baby bok choy sliced
- steamed jasmine rice for serving
- fresh basil, cilantro, lime wedges and sliced chiles for garnish (optional)
- Using paper towels, pat the pork ribs dry and then season, on all sides, with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Next, In a preheated wok or skillet over medium-high heat, sear the pork ribs on all sides until brown, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from the wok and set aside on a towel-lined plate. Reduce the heat to medium.
- Next, add the shallots, garlic to the wok and saute for 1-2 minutes until softened and fragrant. Add galangal, coriander, and cumin and then stir in anchovy paste, whole Thai chilis, fresno peppers, basil, lime zest and lime juice. Season with remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes over medium-low until fragrant and then add the coconut milk, coconut cream, sugar and fish sauce Whisk to combine and then bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Return the pork to the cooking liquid and cover with a lid. Braise for 45-60 minutes. When the meat is tender, remove it from the pan and transfer to a plate.
- Then, using an immersion blender, puree the cooking liquid until smooth. The liquid should thicken slightly as you blend it. Note: If you don't have an immersion blender, you may also carefully transfer the sauce to a blender or food processor to puree and then return to the wok once smooth.
- Place the cooked pork ribs back into the thai curry sauce and then add the bamboo shoots, broccolini and sliced bok choy to the wok. Simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 8-10 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- To serve, plate a scoop of rice in each bowl. Top with a pork rib and then spoon a few scoops of the vegetables and thai curry sauce over the top. Garnish with fresh basil, cilantro, sliced chiles and lime wedges, if desired.
Made this tonight. Flavors were really good. Decided to add potato instead of bamboo. Though I’m really perplexed at how yours came to a red orange color when none of the ingredients were red or orange? I added a bit of Turmeric to give it color otherwise it would have been creamy white. The ribs I bought didn’t get tender even after 5 hours of cooking in a crock pot. I think it was just a bad brand of meat.
Glad you enjoyed the flavors of the recipe. As for the color, it all comes down to lighting. If you look at some of the profile shots my sauce is fairly white in color too however turmeric sounds like a tasty edition!
Regarding meat doneness, I have never made this recipe in a slow cooker (only braised in on the stovetop). If cooking on HIGH 4-6 hours is usually long enough, if cooking on LOW, however, 8-10 hours is usually required to get meat tender and fully cooked. Hope this helps!