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Pad Prik King

Pad Prik King

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This vegetarian Thai curry is less spicy and more fragrant than you might expect; add a dried chile de árbol if you like heat.


  • 8 large dried New Mexico chiles
  • ½ 14-ounce package extra-firm tofu
  • 2 shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1-inch piece lemongrass, tough outer layers removed, chopped
  • 1 ½-inch piece galangal, peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro stems
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated kaffir lime zest (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped, divided (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc nam)
  • Cooked white or brown jasmine rice (for serving)

Recipe Preparation

  • Bring chiles and 2½ cups cold water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, cover; let soften, 30 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, lay a clean kitchen towel or a double layer of paper towels on a large plate. Place tofu on top and cover with another towel or double layer of towels. Cover with another plate and weigh down with something heavy. Let sit 30 minutes, then cut into ¾" pieces.

  • Drain chiles, reserving soaking liquid. Tear chiles open and remove seeds; discard. Blend chiles, shallots, garlic, lemongrass, galangal, cilantro stems, kaffir lime zest (if using), salt, peppercorns, half of kaffir lime leaves (if using), and ½ cup reserved soaking liquid in a blender, scraping down sides and adding more soaking liquid as needed, until a rough paste forms. Set curry paste aside.

  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high and cook tofu until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes total. Add green beans and ½ cup reserved curry paste and cook, tossing occasionally, until beans are coated and beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add ½ cup reserved soaking liquid, cover skillet, and cook until beans are cooked through and liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Stir in fish sauce, sugar, and remaining kaffir lime leaves and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Serve over rice.

  • Do Ahead: Red curry paste can be made up to 3 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Reviews Section

Phat Phrik Khing With Tofu and Long Beans (Thai Dry-Curry Stir-Fry) Recipe

Stroll by a curry vendor in a Thai food court and you'll likely see one curry that stands out from the rest: phat phrik khing. Unlike most other curries, which are served with plenty of liquid—be it coconut milk or broth—phat phrik khing is served dry, its intensely flavored curry paste coating each morsel of food. It can be made with any number of vegetables or meat, but I particularly love the common combination of long beans and tofu. The simplest recipes start with store-bought red curry paste. (Some, like the one just linked to, contain shrimp paste, but vegan red curry paste is easy to come by.) It's not a bad way to turn out a 10-minute meal, but, so long as you have access to fresh Southeast Asian ingredients, a few simple tools, and some elbow grease, you can make something much, much more spectacular.

Phat Phrik Khing: Smash Your Way to a Spectacular Dry-Style Thai Curry

Stroll by a curry vendor in a Thai food court and you'll likely see one curry that stands out from the rest: phat phrik khing. Unlike most other curries, which are served with plenty of liquid—be it coconut milk or broth—phat phrik khing is served dry, its intensely flavored curry paste coating each morsel of food. It can be made with any number of vegetables or meat, but I particularly love the common combination of long beans and tofu. The simplest recipes start with store-bought red curry paste. (Some contain shrimp paste, but vegan red curry paste is easy to come by.) It's not a bad way to turn out a 10-minute meal, but, so long as you have access to fresh Southeast Asian ingredients, a few simple tools, and some elbow grease, you can make something much, much more spectacular.

Do you ever come up with a great response just a moment too late? People frequently ask me which under-appreciated kitchen tool deserves a more central place in their kitchen. I should have the answer rehearsed by now, but whenever I'm put on the spot, I wind up saying things like thermometer! or immersion blender!, or maybe a scale! Now, those are all great tools. Essential, even. But if I had to pick one tool that's severely underrated and overlooked, it's the humble mortar and pestle, a tool that's been used in cultures all over the world since close to the dawn of cooking.

As we've seen time and again, whether you're making pesto, guacamole, or anything in between, there's no better tool for coaxing (okay, pounding, crushing, and grinding) the flavor out of aromatic spices and herbs.

I know that most modern recipes for Thai-style curry pastes call for the use of a blender or food processor, but when a curry paste made with that method is tasted side by side against a paste made the traditional way, there's simply no comparison. Food processors slice and chop. Mortar and pestles grind and pulverize, rupturing more cells and releasing more aromatics as they go.

For this curry paste, I start by pounding garlic, shallots, makrut lime leaves,* lemongrass (the tender bottom core only), fiery fresh Thai bird chilies, cilantro stems (my go-to stand-in for difficult-to-find cilantro root), and galangal in the mortar and pestle. I also add a large pinch of salt, which acts as an abrasive and also helps to draw out extra flavor from the aromatics through osmosis. Though khing is the Thai word for "ginger," this dish typically contains none.

The new P.C. name for kaffir lime leaves that we should all adopt.

Meanwhile, I trim, seed, and soak dried chilies in boiling water to rehydrate them. Phrik haeng is the Thai term for dried chilies, and the ones used in curry paste preparations vary greatly. My favorite locally available chilies to use in this recipe are puyas, which have a flavor that lies between fiery árbol chilies and fruity guajillos. Guajillo, California, or pasilla peppers will do just fine in their place.

After they've rehydrated (about 10 minutes), I chop them up and add them to the mortar.

The next 10 to 15 minutes of my life are devoted to three things: pounding, pounding, and pounding. It takes a little effort, but you get paid back in incredible flavor. Sing a song to yourself. Memorize funny dinosaur names, like Elvisaurus and Bambiraptor (yes, those are real). Put in headphones and catch an episode of Star Wars Minute. Whatever gets you to keep on pounding, just do it. It doesn't need to be a completely smooth paste—Thai grandmothers may tell you that you need a paste so fine that you can rub it into the cracks in your skin,** but I typically take my curry paste to rough-purée territory and have yet to suffer any permanent disabilities.

** I think Thai grandmothers just wanted a good way to keep Thai grandchildren out of their hair for a while.

You will be tempted to transfer everything to the food processor or mini-chopper and be done with it. Honestly, it's okay to give in to these temptations so long as you've pulverized the bulk of the aromatics and it's all nice, moist, and pasty, the mortar and pestle has done its flavor-extracting job and you can rely on the food processor to smooth things out for you. The main reason I don't is because I find that pounding for an extra five minutes is less of a headache than pulling out the food processor and cleaning it when I'm finished.

Once the curry paste is made, your work is almost done. You can do your stir-frying in regular vegetable oil, coconut oil, or the fat from the top of a can of coconut milk. Typically, phat phrik khing would be made by first searing the chili paste in hot oil, which helps to develop and deepen its flavor, then adding the tofu and beans and tossing everything together. I prefer to get a little more flavor and texture in the dish by first searing the tofu until it's crisp, removing it from the pan, blistering the green beans in more hot oil, removing them as well, then finally blooming the chili paste and tossing everything back together.

Cooking the tofu and green beans separately ensures that we're able to maintain enough heat in our Western cooktops to fry the ingredients as we add them, instead of steaming them.

Some soy sauce adds umami depth to the mixture, while a touch of sugar helps balance out its heat. We could take it out of the pan right now and call it a day, but I like to punch things up right at the end with some fresh herbs. If you have fresh makrut lime, hair-thin slivers of the leaves are a nice addition, as is a handful of chopped fresh Thai basil.

Gathering up all those aromatics may seem a little daunting at first, but once you have a good source for them, you'll discover that a meal like this takes only about 30 minutes to make. Curry paste can also be made in large batches, placed in plastic freezer bags with the air squeezed out, and frozen flat. That way, you can break off chunks of it as you need it freezing bags flat means rapid thawing.

I serve my phat phrik khing with some steamed jasmine rice and a fork and spoon, the way they do in Thailand, using the fork to mix the curry and rice and the spoon to deliver it to my mouth. If this isn't enough to convince you to finally get that mortar and pestle you've been eyeing, I don't know what is. Now, could somebody please remind me to write that down? I swear, if I hear myself say "thermometer" one more time, I'm going to stick my finger in an immersion blender.

Red Curry Green Beans – Pad Prik Khing Green Beans

I have always loved the green beans with the hot phrik khing sauce from Thai restaurants. So I decided to make some myself. The traditional version uses a prik khing curry paste. Red curry paste is a close match and the flavors work out beautifully, and I also generally have red curry paste in my pantry.

These red curry green beans are easy and come together really quickly. Toss in some garlic, curry paste, kaffir lime leaves or lime zest, heat and let them cook until tender to preference. The cook time for green beans depends on the type of beans. The thinner beans cook faster, so cook until they are slightly crunchy but done. Add more curry paste and water/broth for saucier beans to serve over plain rice if needed. Add some baked or crisped tofu for variation. Serve with Peanut Sauce Fried Rice or other vegetable fried rice.

The High Heel Gourmet

One of my readers has been waiting through episode after episode of curries just for this one recipe and finally couldn’t wait any longer, so she sent me a message on my Facebook page asking for it, saying that she’s been waiting nearly a year now. Ha! I wish I knew earlier. This recipe is something I wasn’t even planning on writing about.

By the way, for all my followers, if you want any specific Thai recipes, you can request them. If I don’t have any recipes already planned, I should be able to post the recipe you request within a week or two. If I already have requests in the queue, then you might have to wait a little longer, but at least you will get it sooner than a year!

This is my husband’s all time favorite dish that I make all the time at home, but I never knew that it was quite so popular among the non-Thais. It is an ancient recipe, but has been altered over time until it no longer resembles the original.

The Prik Khing known to the Thais and foreigners these days is the dish using Kaeng Kua curry paste, stir-fried in oil with long beans or green beans and your choice of meat. In Thailand, the choice of meat is usually pork belly, crispy pork fat or crispy fried catfish fluff (made by steaming or grilling the catfish, separating the meat, fluffing it, then deep-frying it in hot oil the fish meat fluffs even more in the process), but outside the country it could be chicken, beef, shrimp or many other possibilities.

Prik Khing is also spelled multiple ways. Thai write พริกขิง only one way, but in karaoke Thai, using the Roman alphabet, there are several. Prik Khing, the one I use, seems to be the most popular name. There is also Prik King (yikes), Phrik King and Phrik Khing, the least bawdy. Some would call it Pad Phrik Khing or Phat Prik Khing. Pad (Phat) means stir fry. Remember these stir-fried favorites?”Pad” Thai, Khao “Pad” Sapparot, (Pineapple fried rice), “Pad”See Ew, and “Pad”Kee Mao.

In the history of the dish, it was used as rations for people who had to travel a long distances, including solders, or it was made to stockpile. You might wonder WHY. Because stir-frying the meat (crispy pork fat or pork belly were the most popular choices because they can be kept unspoiled for a long time) in oil and curry paste until they are dry not only prevents the food from spoiling in a hot climate, but is also tasty, and I don’t have to explain that it’s easy to transport.

So, originally Prik Khing was quite dry and had no vegetables. When did the beans come in to the picture? Prik Khing was normally eaten with vegetables anyway, just to tame the heat from the chili down a little bit. And sometimes in the rations cooked long beans were added to the Prik Khing just to make it easier to eat.

A lot of Thai people debate about the name of this dish. As you might already know, Prik in Thai means chilli, but how about Khing? Khing is ginger. “Does it contain ginger?” is the most common question among the Thai cooks. (Wikipedia doesn’t have the correct information about the curry paste on this, so ignore it.)

The ancient recipe that I know does contain ginger, a lot of ginger. Ginger has many medicinal effects: immune boosting, anti-inflammatory, eliminating gastrointestinal distress and especially preventing nausea and the symptoms of motion sickness, which was the most important property of ginger. You might ask why this was so essential. How were travelers in the olden days getting motion sickness?

When the American pioneers still traveled in wagons, I hope you didn’t expect that my ancestors were flying around on a magic bamboo mat, do you? We walked, of course, but otherwise we rode in wagons, or on the backs of water buffalos, horses or elephants. You think it was fun to wobble on those animals’ backs or in a wagon that had wooden wheels? Not to mention the roads weren’t exactly Autobahn smooth! If there was any path resemble a road way, we’re already considered lucky. Ginger was an essential remedy for traveling back in those days. I’m sure that’s why they put a lot of ginger in the Prik Khing that was used as rations. Smart move! Pioneers would have probably killed for some ginger.

Prik Khing with crispy pork was the common stockpile in the Thai household. In the old time we used homemade lard. We would cook pork fat until it released the oil. The by-product from this process is crispy pork fat, similar to bacon but no salty taste because we never cure the pork fat. To get enough oil to use in the household for the whole week, my grandmother have to fry at least 2 lb. of pork fat a week.

I swear I didn’t really cut these out from my belly or my thighs, even though they kinda look familiar.

The crispy pork was actually a treasure in the cupboard. If I could get to it before anyone else, especially my dad who normally was the fastest, I would just eat it plain or put it over steamed rice, add a dash of fish sauce, some slices of shallot, and squeeze a little lime juice over. Just that, and I was in heaven. I would sit down on the kitchen floor, spread my legs apart and put my rice bowl in between, just to protect and guard my food. I savored every bite of it. Good thing I did, because as a grown up with high-cholesterol genetics, I have to think three times before I eat it!

The smell of fried pork fat was so wonderful. It reminds me of my grandmother’s home.

The problem with the crispy pork fat, called “Gaag Moo”, is about a kilo of pork fat yield so little crispy pork fat, approximately about 3/4 cup. So, we don’t normally make Prik Khing as a weekly thing but if we have some party going on that we need a lot of lard, then of course, we got a lot more crispy pork fat and that’s the Prik Khing time.

Once we get the crispy pork fat we leave it to cool while we’re pounding on the curry paste. We use Kaeng Kua curry paste, omitting the kaffir lime peel but adding lots of ginger, approximately about the same amount as the curry paste used for the dish. Then we add the dried shrimp into the curry paste too. The curry paste will be cooked in oil, either lard that was extracted from the crispy pork fat (not recommended for people with heart problems or high cholesterol) or vegetable oil.

When the curry paste is cooked and fragrant, then the other ingredients will be added. I use the Songkhla (a province in the south of Thailand) recipe that was handed down in my family, so we add not only the crispy pork fat but also the same amount of crushed peanuts with it too. The Prik Khing will be seasoned with fish sauce and palm sugar. Stir-fry until all the ingredients are well blended. That’s the ancient recipe of Prik Khing.

You probably don’t care about that ancient recipe, developed before the discovery of cholesterol and heart plaque. The modern Prik Khing is much healthier, with green beans and shrimp.

Ingredients (for 2 or for my husband these are ALL for him. I would be lucky to get a few bites.)

Green beans or long bean cut about 1”-1.5” long 2 cups

Shrimp, or your choice of meat cut to pieces 1/2 cup (Vegetarian or Vegan use cubed hard tofu)

Fish sauce 2 tablespoons (Vegetarian or Vegan use mushroom soy sauce)

Vegetable oil 2-3 tablespoons

(Optional) Ginger 3 tablespoons

(Optional) Dried shrimps 2-3 tablespoons

(Optional) Chiffonaded kaffir lime leaves

1) If you want to use ginger, mince or pound it in the mortar with the curry paste before you start. Same for the dried shrimp.

2) Put oil in the wok over medium heat. Add curry paste to the oil and stir fry for at least 1 minute, or until fragrant. (You should sneeze at least once if you just made the curry paste fresh)

**If you are using chicken, pork, beef or lamb, please see note #1**

3) Increase the heat to high, add the cut green beans and stir-fry, season with fish sauce and palm sugar, taste and adjust to your preference. Stir-fry the green beans until they’re almost cooked.

4) Add the shrimp and toss them around quickly until they’re all cooked. The green beans should be cooked through, too.

5) Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

1) If you are using other land animal meat, add the meat right after you cook the curry paste, and stir-fry until the outsides are cooked before adding green beans.

Another friend just asked me for the ancient Songkhla-style Prik Khing recipe after I posted the picture on Facebook page. So here we go:

Ingredients for Songkhla-style Prik Khing

Crispy pork fat (กากหมู) 3/4 – 1 cup — You can get this from frying about a kg or (2 lb.) of pork fat

Kaeng Kua curry paste 3 tablespoons

Crushed peanuts 3/4 – 1 cup

Fish sauce 2-4 tablespoons

Palm sugar 2-3 tablespoons

(Optional) Chiffonaded kaffir lime leaves

1) Mince ginger or pound it in the mortar with the curry paste before you start. Same with the dried shrimp.

2) Put oil in the wok over medium heat. Add curry paste to the oil and stir fry for at least 1 minute, or until it fragrant.

3) Lower the heat to medium-low, add crushed peanuts and season with fish sauce and palm sugar. Taste and adjust the taste.

4) If you want to add salted duck egg or chiffonade kaffir lime leave, this is the time to add it, and you might want to taste it again because the salted egg could change the balance.

5) Add crispy pork fat and toss until everything are well blended quickly then turn off the heat.


  • 1 ½ cups uncooked jasmine rice
  • 3 ½ cups water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into thin strips
  • 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • ½ cup fresh ginger, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • ¾ cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 4 green onions cut into 2-inch pieces
  • ½ teaspoon Thai red chile paste, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chicken broth
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves

Bring the rice and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low cover and simmer until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the garlic and chicken cook for 2 minutes. Add the fish sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, ginger, red pepper, mushrooms, and onions. Cook and stir until the chicken is no longer pink and the vegetables are nearly tender, about 3 minutes. Dissolve the chile paste in the chicken broth, then add to the chicken mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper sprinkle with cilantro leaves to garnish. Serve with the hot rice.

Thai Pork with Spicy Green Beans

I have a serious phobia about trying new things at restaurants. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love checking out new restaurants and have no problem ordering whatever sounds good to me, but when it comes to ordering something different than what I got the first time I was there, I’m a total wimp.

When I already know that something is good, why would I take a risk and order something different? What if it doesn’t taste good and I just waste a bunch of money?

The absolute worst case of order-changing-phobia I’ve ever had was at this little Thai place in the town where I went to college.

The first time I tried Thai food I ordered chicken with cashew nuts, and it has been my absolute favorite dish in the WORLD ever since.

In all seriousness, it took me YEARS to order something different. I finally got tipsy brave one night at dinner and decided to order something different.

I went with pad prik king, also known as chicken with spicy green beans, and it was divine. Prik king itself is actually a type of curry, like panang or massaman.

In Thailand the husband and I saw prik king used “dry” (meaning without coconut milk) to saute meat and vegetables.

While chicken and green beans is the most common combination seen here in the states, moo paht prik king, moo pad prik king, or pork with spicy green beans, is a delicious alternative.

An absolute cinch to make, this Thai pork recipe comes together in under 15 minutes so be sure to start your rice ahead of time!

Side note: I recently found myself on the rice aisle at the local Asian supermarket deciding between a ten or twenty-five pound bag of jasmine rice. I think I have a problem.

Okay, back to the pork: Do you see that delicious sauce nestled underneath the green beans and pork? It is just begging to be soaked up by some rice. Never skimp on the rice.

You don’t need any special equipment or ingredients to make this incredibly easy dish at home.

I’ve included the traditional elements below, but I’ve also added notes about simple substitutions you can make if you don’t have a particular ingredient on hand.

Frying the Chicken – Two Ways

There are two ways for cooking the chicken for this recipe.

You can cook the chicken separately on high heat which will prevent the chicken from releasing moisture and boiling the meat. To do this properly, it is important to not overcrowd the fry pan and make sure the pan is on high heat before you start. This may mean you will also have to cook the chicken in batches.

If you don’t care and just want things to be done as quickly as possible then just cook the chicken in the curry paste. The chicken pieces will release moisture and slightly thin out the curry sauce. On the upside it is easier and will still taste great.

Pad Prik King - Recipes

Pad Prik King is a dry Thai curry that doesn’t have coconut milk in it. The curry paste is basically stir fried in oil till fragrant before adding any meat and/or vegetables.

Earlier I had bought like the entire range (well, almost) of Maepranom brand curry pastes which included this Phad Prig Khing curry paste. After making Red Curry and Green Curry , this dish really came as a refreshing change because you wouldn’t taste the same coconut milky flavour in this and the aroma of spices did stand out too. I didn’t use too much oil so as to keep this less greasy and it didn’t require additional salt as the paste was already nicely seasoned. All that was needed was just some palm sugar to give the curry a bit more body. Enjoy!


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Watch the video: Pad Prik King Recipe - Red Curry Chicken u0026 Long Beans Stir-Fry ไกผดพรกขง (May 2022).