Red Curry with Pork and Watercress

Remember the Red Curry Paste we made from scratch the other day? Well this Red Curry with Pork and Watercress recipe came from the same Fine Cooking Magazine (FC) article, and the reason we made the paste in the first place. OK, it was also to break in Hubby’s Christmas present from his sister Dee—the solid granite mortar and pestle hand carved from Thailand.


According to the magazine article, you won’t find this curry in many Thai restaurants in the States, but it’s a popular choice among Bangkok residents. The sauce is thick and velvety thanks to a generous amount of coconut milk, which imparts sweetness. Its sweet profile is balanced by the mellow heat from the curry paste and sourness from the lime.

FC suggests, if you’re able to find it, using morning glory in place of the watercress, apparently it’s more authentically Thai. However, other than growing morning glory in my garden, I’ve never heard of eating it. Have you? It may seem like a lot of greens initially, but just like spinach, it wilts down considerably.

For a leaner option, swap pork butt for the pork belly (which we did). Serve the curry on generous helpings of steamed jasmine rice. Of course, if you don’t have the where-with-all to make homemade red curry paste, use a jarred version, it just won’t be quite as spectacular. We made the red curry paste two days in advance which saved loads of time.

The recipe only called for 1 pound of pork, which seemed very meager. Our package was about 1/3 more and even that was a stretch. I suggest using at least 1 1/2 pounds of meat, especially is you are serving four people.


Red Curry with Pork and Watercress

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 2 Tbs. coconut or vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. pork belly (or butt), skin removed, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 1/4 cup Red Curry Paste
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 7 oz. watercress or morning glory, cut into 3-inch pieces (4 cups chopped)
  • 3 Tbs. tamarind concentrate or apple-cider vinegar; more to taste
  • 2 Tbs. fish sauce; more to taste
  • 2 Tbs. palm or brown sugar; more to taste
  • 1 kaffir lime, halved; or 3 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  • Steamed basmati rice made with homemade broth


  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. (Coconut oil comes in a solid state as opposed to liquid like most oils.)
  2. Sear the pork on all sides until browned. Transfer the pork to a plate. Discard all but 2 Tbs. of the oil from the pan.
  3. Return the pan to medium-high heat, add the curry paste, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. The paste will spatter, so use a lid or splatter guard.
  4. Add the coconut milk and pork with its juices; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer, slightly covered, until the meat is tender, 45 to 50 minutes. Add water to ensure that the pork remains submerged.
  5. Once the pork is tender, add the watercress, tamarind, fish sauce, sugar, and lime. Return to a boil. Season to taste with more sugar, tamarind, and fish sauce.
  6. Turn off the heat, and let stand for 30 minutes to let the lime infuse the curry.
  7. Meanwhile, make rice according to package directions, steamed with homemade chicken stock instead of water, if possible.
  8. Remove and discard the lime for the curry, and then serve it over steamed rice.

Adapted from a recipe by Perry Santanachote found in Fine Cooking Magazine

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