If you have arrived here searching for an authentic Thai recipe for Pad Prik King Moo or Pad Prik King Pork Curry Stir Fry then you have come to the right place.
If you want Pad Prik King Beef or Pad Prik King Chicken then the recipe is the same – just swap out the meats and adjust seasoning.
This is a quick and easy, super tasty dish and best served with good quality jasmine rice.
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Is There a Difference Between Prik King Paste and Red Curry Paste?
You will see some Pad Prik recipes call for Prik King paste but what is that exactly?
Prik King Paste is a paste made with chili, lemongrass, kaffir leaf and a lot of other ingredients mixed together in a paste to suit the dry style of Prik King curry. Red Curry Paste is made for the more liquid style Thai Red Curry which is saucier and not so dry, often cooked with coconut milk. The two pastes are NOT the same and their tastes differ.
The fact is there is a load of curry pastes made for Thai cooking and all of them differ between styles as well as within styles.
Typically Thai people buy their curry pastes from the local market where there will be several vendors what make quite large quantities formed into dome-like structures of color. You go along, pick the style you want and a small amount is spooned off into a little bag for your cooking.
It goes to say that different vendors use slightly different recipes to make their curry pastes and so tastes and consistency differ between them.
Prik King Paste is one style of paste which is different to Red Curry Paste and made up for cooking Prik King dishes.
How to Order Thai Prik King Curry
Thai language is transliterated many ways so spellings can be confusing. So here are a few ways you might see this dish written on a menu.
Moo pad prik or Pad prik moo – these miss out the ‘king' also spelt ‘khing' (which means ginger) and there are other recipes such as Moo Pad Prik Yuak that contain the term so if you ask like that you will probably see a confused face staring back at you. Or be served something unexpected.
But you might also see Prik King Curry or Prik Khing Curry in which case it should be suffixed by the name of the meat – in this case Moo for pork.
And so you end up with the correct way to ask for the dish as ‘kor (word to ask for) Pad Phrik King Moo' followed by ‘khrup' for guys and ‘ka' for girls which is just a polite word to end a request.
How to Cook this Pad Prik King Recipe
Thai people are not big on complicated things and prefer to keep things simple if they can – I am talking about general life here.
So most Thai cooking is quite simple and easy to do, concentrating on fresh ingredients, and balancing salt, sour, sweet and spicy flavors in a dish. Sometimes a little marinading is done but the cooking process itself is usually quick.
Hence stir-fried dishes which can be cooked in a few minutes and yet still produce a wonderful tasting dish of complex intermingled tastes that somehow just work for your taste buds.
Along with the wonderful blending of tastes, Thai food is quite frequently colorful too for a great presentation.
The name of the paste, Pad Prik King, aptly describes the dish it is used in which is Stir Fried (Pad), Chilli (Prik) and Ginger (King) Dry Curry.
Traditionally the dish is cooked with finger ginger rather than the thicker aged roots that you might be used to. Whilst you can use either, the finger ginger is sliced up into thin strips which gives a definitive texture and concentration of taste when you eat it – and adds to the fiber in the dish. If you use chopped ordinary ginger then you will lose this wonderful texture.
The dish also uses spur chilies (the big milder flavored chilies) that are sliced and provide a wonderful contrast of colors to the green long beans which are not cooked too long so that they retain a crunch which helps the texture of the meal in your mouth.
If you want to swap out the Prik King Paste and use Red Curry Paste instead then you can do so but the taste will not be the same but then you could argue that the dish we cook using curry paste from the market will likely not taste the same as using paste from a tin or if you really must, from a plastic packet. And you would be right – it is not the end of the world, just a slightly different taste!
Wonderful food is about presentation, texture and taste and this dish ticks all the boxes for you.
Taste Test – Adjusting Spice and Salt
One of my biggest problems is designing recipes that have the right balance of spice and salt.
First of all, some people (like me) love very spicy food and some can tolerate only a little spice if they are not used to eating spicy food regularly (your taste buds do get accustomed).
Secondly, some people like salty food and others prefer very low saltiness.
So it is vitally important that you go easy on the amount of curry paste and seasoning and decide how much salt to add. Salt comes from the seasoning sauce you use and optionally fish sauce.
Fish sauce is extremely salty so if you decide to use it please add it very sparingly and taste to gradually get to your desired salt profile for the dish.
You will see in the video that I do not add fish sauce at all. That is because the paste I use is already quite salty but the paste you use will very likely be much different.
If you are buying Prik King Paste then I recommend that you try out those from Maesri, Mae Ploy or Mae Anong brands which I think taste a little better than the Lobo and Aroy-D brands but it is a personal opinion.
In any event, taste test your dish just before you take it out of the pan and add extra salt if required.
It is more difficult to add spiciness as it needs to cook to release flavor and taste so my suggestion here would be to start with 1/3rd (don't like much spice) to 2/3rd (used to spicy dishes) the recipe amount first and if you want it spicier then adjust the next time you cook it.
Full instructions in our easy print recipe below.
Pad Phrik King Moo Recipe with Long Green Beans (Easy Print)
Phat Phrik King Moo With Long Green BeansPin Recipe
- 300 grams Pork Collar Thinly Sliced or Cubed
- 100 grams Long Green Beans cut into 1 inch lengths (sugar snap peas at a push)
- 3 tbs Phrik King (Khing) Curry Paste
- 1/3 cups Sliced Ginger Roots
- 5 Kaffir leaves torn in half – stems removed
- 2 tsps Fish Sauce (optional) increases saltiness
- 1 tbs Brown sugar or palm sugar
- 1 1/2 tbs Seasoning sauce
- 1 tbs Olive oil
- 1 tbs Sliced Chili Spur (Big Chilli Pepper)
- Wash the long green beans and cut into 1 inch lengths. Tear the kaffir leaves half removing the thicker stem and centre vein. Slice up the finger ginger roots lengthwise, and wash the pepper corns (if using) and set aside.
- Wash pork, thinly slice / cube and marinate with 1 tablespoon of seasoning sauce, set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan until quite hot.
- Stir fry the pork until nearly done and then add the Prik King (Red Curry) paste and continue to stir fry until fragrant.
- Add sliced finger ginger roots, long green beans, kaffir leaves and mix,
- Add seasoning sauce, fish sauce (if using), brown sugar or palm sugar, and stir to mix.
- When pork is cooked through scoop up onto a serving plate.
- Garnished with chili spur for colour and serve with jasmine rice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Prik is the transliteration of the Thai word ‘พริก' which means chili. If you simply used the word on its own you will likely get the super hot bird's eye chili which is what Thai's call Thai chili.
Prik king paste or phrik khing paste is a very spicy paste that is used to make pad prik king curry. Pad prik recipes use this paste to make the dry southern style Thai curry which is dry and cooked without coconut milk.
No. Pad king refers to a dish that is stir fried with ginger whereas pad prik king refers to a completely different, very hot curry with chili a predominant taste.
I really hope you enjoy this dish and if you cook it I would love to hear your comments below so please come back and let me know how it turned out for you.
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I am a Thai mum and love cooking for my children. Over the years, I have taken my family recipes as well as ones borrowed from friends and adapted them to make them even tastier. I publish my authentic Thai Food Recipes here for all to enjoy around the world. When I get a chance to travel I publish information to help others visiting Thailand.