Pork with red curry paste and kaffir


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…


  1. says

    I had a hard time finding kafir leaves back in the US. Not sure if I can find them in Taiwan. For sure, if I’m back in S’pore, this should be an easy find.

    Great tasting dish it must be.

  2. says

    I’d love to try this, but like tigerfish, I have never had any luck finding kafir leaves. I’ll usually substitute in some lime juice, but I’m sure its not quite the same…

  3. says

    That does sound like fun, hanging around with the Thai students. I’m not sure I would even recognize Thai if I heard someone speaking it. I love kaffir lime leaves, and this sounds delicious. Of course this tree won’t survive in a cold place like Utah, but I have someone who sends me the leaves and I keep them in the freezer. Probably not quite as good as the fresh leaves, but not bad.

  4. says

    You can find Kaffir lime leaves in some cities in the US if you know where to look, for example here in Los Angeles. Check the Thai and Asian grocers.

    If you have trouble finding a source, try online.

    ImportFood.com will ship you a pack of Kaffir lime leaves by mail, about 80 leaves, $15 USD. That will last most people cooking at home a good while.


    Hope that helps,

    Rachada Thai Cuisine


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