This curry is from the north of Thailand, redolent of
the spices of Burma and the Thai border. Whilst it can
be ordered fairly easily in Chiang Mai and the northern
Thai provinces, Gaeng Hang Lay is not generally
found elsewhere in the country, although there is a Shan
restaurant in Udon Thani, run by a northern family, that
features this dish as well as its specialty of
Khao Soi noodles. It is an aromatic dish best served with plain
jasmine rice together with some green vegetables such as
We do not advise the use of processed curry powders or pastes in preparing this curry, as they fail to orchestrate the rich notes of this dish. A successful Gaeng Hanglay curry should only be prepared with fresh ingredients.
Shrimp paste is one ingredient that may be difficult to find overseas, but you may either find it in Asian or Thai groceries, or online. Omitting this pungent paste will again sacrifice the dish! Likewise, fresh galangal has a much more aromatic flavour than the dried version.
Thus is traditionally a rich pork belly curry, but should you prefer to reduce the fat in the recipe then do feel free to substitute another cut, such as pork shoulder or collar.
Some restaurants will serve this aromatic northern
curry with some deep fried pork crackling or pork skin
on the side. Whilst this adds crunch to the dish, the
crunchy morsels are often overly dry, detracting from
the curry itself.
10 dried red chilies (soak in hot water for half
an hour prior to use)
A 1.5" cube of fresh peeled ginger root, finely chopped or julienned
1.5 tbs finely chopped fresh galangal
2 stalks of lemongrass, peeled & finely chopped
1 tbs Shrimp paste
2 tbs palm sugar
1 tsp roasted, ground cumin
600g pork belly
600ml pork stock
1 - 2 heads of pickled garlic, cut into largish chunks
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp dark soy sauce
4 finely sliced shallots
1 tbs finely chopped garlic
3 tbs tamarind juice
1 tbs fish sauce
- Grind the ginger, chilies, lemongrass & galangal to a rough paste, before adding the shrimp paste.
- Cut the pork into one inch cubes and place in a saucepan with the curry paste. Mix thoroughly - use a spoon rather than your hands as the chili can be aggressive!
- Now heat the coated cubes over a gentle heat until they have coloured - no water or oil is needed.
- Add the pickled garlic, stock, cumin, soy and turmeric and simmer for around an hour and a half, until the meat is succulently soft.
- At this stage add the fresh garlic, shallots, tamarind, fish sauce and palm sugar, before cooking for another 5 minutes. (If the sauce is too thin, boil without the lid to evaporate excess liquid.)
- Stir and season to taste if required with
fish sauce, lime juice or palm sugar.
For a restaurant style presentation, you can sprinkle the plated dish with some slices of red chili and a swirl of coconut milk, or simply brighten the dish with a sprinkle of fresh coriander leaves and perhaps some julienned ginger.
See More Thai Recipes
- Thai Wing Bean Salad
- Spicy Beef Stir Fry with Basil
- Thai Crab Stir Fry with Curry
- Red Roast Duck Curry
- Som Tam - Spicy Thai Green Papaya Salad
- Steamed Fish with Lime
- Thai dipping sauce