Kua Gling Moo - คั่วกลิ้งหมู

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If you visit any southern food stand in Bangkok, you will see Kua Gling displayed in a large bowl. The dried yellowish meat looks unassumingly harmless. Grab a seat and order Kua Gling. The first bite, you will thinking you've made a mistake ordering something too hot to eat. But you want to continue because the flavors are so good. If you keep on eating, you will enjoy it with tears in your eyes. And the Kua Gling that you just had is not as hot as the one you'll find in the south. It's made mild to fit the Bangkokians' palate.

Among the most popular of southern Thai dishes, Kua Gling is extremely easy to make. The term 'kua' refers to dry roasting in a pan or wok over low heat while constantly stirring. 'Gling' is the act of rolling. The heart of this dish is dry meat packed with burning heat and southern spices with the aroma and flavor of kaffir lime leaves. Kua Gling can be made with a variety of meats such as beef, pork, pork soft rib bones, seafood and frog. The most common are pork and beef.

To lessen the fire in your mouth, Kua Gling in southern Thailand is served with (ผักเหนาะ) a tray of fresh southern leafy vegetables, stinky beans and cucumbers.

In this recipe, we want to bring southern food with the level of heat that is comfortable to you. With the homemade southern curry paste, you can adjust the heat by choosing mild peppers instead of fiery hot ones. You'll still get all the spices and flavors.

2 Servings, Prep Time: 15 Minutes, Total Time: 15 Minutes

Tips and Techniques

  • Use lean meat. 
  • Do not add oil. It's not a stir fry. The oil will make the dish taste off-flavor. 
  • A non-stick pan works well for this dish. However, I use a cast iron pan which sticks somewhat. Add a tablespoon of water if needed to loosen the meat. 
  • Fish sauce or salt is optional. Some curry paste may have enough salt. Taste to see if you need to add more. You can use either salt or fish sauce. If your curry paste is very hot, you may need additional salt.  The heat burns your taste buds and makes food seem underseasoned.
  • Several recipes call for sugar. I recommend against it. Sugar has very little role in southern savory dishes. To get the true southern flavor, salt and heat are keys.
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