My love affair with Thai food started when a Thai restaurant opened in my place that is owned by a Thai lady who married a Filipino. I really like hot and spicy dishes and Thai dishes can really be HOT and SPICY. This was further strengthened by becoming good friends with another Thai student who loved to eat and shared my adventures in eating. Through her, I met a lot other nice Thai students, and with Thai students, Thai parties! I used to get invited to their parties, never mind that they usually speak Thai, occasionally breaking into English. I love listening to their talk and laughter and videoke singing. More so, they welcomed me into their mini-Thai kitchen in the Philippines where I first met the kaffir plant. I’ve tasted kaffir from the Thai restaurant but couldn’t identify the herb. What do you know, in a dorm where most of the Thai students stay in UPLB, an earlier batch of Thai students had planted kaffir in the backyard. It was growing profusely. Whenever I need some leaves, I just text a Thai student and I’d have a bagful of fresh leaves. Well, most of my friends have gone back to Thailand and I have no inside contact in the dorm anymore. The next best thing was to plant kaffir at home.
Twice a year, the university holds a garden show where all kinds of plants are sold. Kafir seedlings are sold and that is where I got my kafir tree last year. Kaffir is a type of lime, with an hourglass-shaped leaves. It is widely used in Thai cuisine, much to my delight! The funny thing about my “first” kaffir was that I asked a friend to buy it for me which she dutifully did. She brought it home first and the next, her father has planted the kaffir in their backyard!
Pork with red curry paste and kafir
500 grams pork tenderloins, cut into strips
4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
2 tbsp red curry paste
3 kafir leaves, cut into thin strips
Saute garlic in oil until translucent. Add the red curry paste and mix a few times. Add the pork strips, stirring constantly till meat is is white and covered with red curry paste. Add 1/4 cup of water, simmer till most have evaporated and add the kafir. Stir fry for 30 seconds. This is now ready to serve.
To make a more filling dish, add vegetables such as string beans, peppers, and kangkong (water spinach). Kangkong? I know, I know… I will blog about this soon.
PS- Don’t forget, submit your entry to To market, to market…