Thai Green Curry with Pork and Zucchini

Thai Green Curry with Pork and Zucchini

Why this recipe works: although authentic curry originates in southern India, the word “curry” has evolved into a catchall term used to described any number of spicy, saucy dishes from all over the globe. For this take on a curry and pork dish, we drew inspiration from the flavors of Thailand.  Intensely aromatic and unapologetically spicy, Thai green curry paste adds complexity and depth of flavor to almost anything it touches. It’s also convenient: you  access its benefits by opening a jar, not by scrounging up a litany of exotic ingredients. Blooming the green curry paste in the skillet, then adding coconut milk and fish sauce – both ingredients often found in Thai cuisine – further enhances the Thai – inspired flavor scraping up the fond (the browned bits left behind after cooking the pork) before simmering adds even more depth to this rich, spicy dish.

Ingredients: serve 4
1 large pork tenderloin(about 1 pound), cut into ¾ inch chunks salt and pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium zucchini, cut into ¾ inch pieces
3 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoons brown sugar
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice

  1. pat pork dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium – high heat until just smoking. Cook pork until well browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer pork to bowl and set aside.
  2. Add remaining oil and zucchini to no – empty skillet and cook until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer zucchini to bowl with pork and set aside.
  3. Add curry paste to now – empty skillet and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in coconut milk, fish sauce, and sugar, scraping up any browned bits, and bring to simmer over medium heat. Simmer until sauce thickens, about 6 minutes. Stir in browned pork and zucchini, along with any accumulated juices, and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Off heat, stir in cilantro and lime juice. Server.

Kitchen Know how Found in pan sauces
Fond is a term that refers to the caramelized browned bits that remain on the bottom of the pan after meat has been sautéed or pan seared. When meat  or chicken browns, something called the maillard reaction occurs. This process is named after the French chemist who first described this reaction roughly one hundred years ago. When the amino acids(or protein components) and natural sugars in meat are subjected to intense heat, like that found in a skillet, they begin to combine and form new compounds. These compounds in turn react to form yet more new flavor compounds, and so on and so on. The browned bits left in the pan are packed with these complex flavors, which in turn are carried over to the pan sauce once the fond has been scraped free from the pan and dissolved into the liquids (broth, wine, etc.) used for the pan sauce. In classic French cooking, fond is also referred to as sucs.

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