April 14, 2023

Nuit Regular’s Pork Belly Curry with Water Spinach (Gaeng Tay Poe)

Recipe: Nuit Regular

This pork belly curry is from Kiin by Nuit Regular. Penguin Canada, 2020, $34.

“I love this dish because of its distinct sour taste from the magrud lime juice, the unique flavor from the lime leaves and the fatty richness of the pork belly.” — Nuit Regular


Curry Paste

  • 3 small dried red bird’s eye chilis (Thai chili)
  • 2 tbsp paprika 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp thinly sliced galangal (Thai ginger)
  • 2 tbsp thinly sliced lemongrass
  • 1⁄4 cup unpeeled Thai garlic cloves, or thinly sliced peeled regular garlic
  • 1 tbsp thinly sliced cilantro roots,
  • 3″ stems or cilantro stems
  • 9 white peppercorns
  • 1 tsp grated magrud lime zest (or 1 tbsp thinly sliced magrud lime leaves)
    3 tbsp thinly sliced shallots
  • 1 tsp Thai shrimp paste

Pork Belly Curry

  • 1 cup thick part of coconut milk, divided All of Curry Paste (see above)
  • 2⁄3 lb. skin-on, boneless pork belly, cut into slices 1⁄2″ thick, 1″ length
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups thin part of coconut milk
  • 2⁄3 lb. water spinach, cut into 2″ pieces and squeezed lightly to bruise 1⁄2 magrudlime,halved(optional)
  • 5 magrud lime leaves, torn in half 1 tbsp + 11⁄2 tsp coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 11⁄2 tsp Thai fish sauce
  • Steamed jasmine rice, for serving


Yield: 2

Make Curry Paste

  1. Using mortar and pestle, pound together chilis, paprika and salt to fine paste. Then, one at a time, and pounding to fine paste after each addition, add galangal, lemongrass, garlic, cilantro roots, white peppercorns, lime zest, shallots and shrimp paste. (Alternatively, process all ingredients except shrimp paste in food processor with 2 tbsp water to make fine paste. Transfer to medium bowl and mix in shrimp paste.)

Make Curry

  1. Heat medium pot over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add 1⁄2 cup thick coconut milk and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in all Curry Paste and pork belly. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring often to avoid burning paste, about 3 minutes. Add water and scrape bottom and sides of pot.
  2. Add thin coconut milk and stir well. Cover and boil for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water spinach, lime half and leaves, ensuring vegetables are fully submerged. Cover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in remaining 1⁄2 cup thick coconut milk and boil for another minute. Remove from heat.
  4. In small bowl, stir together 1⁄2 cup of curry sauce and coconut sugar until sugar is fully dissolved. Stir in lime juice and fish sauce. Add to pot and stir well. Return pot to medium heat and boil for another minute. Remove from heat. Curry should taste sour, sweet and salty. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

Photography ©2020 by Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott.


Pork Belly Curry recipe excerpted from Kiin by Nuit Regular. ©2020 by Nuit Regular.