Malaysian Pork Kapitan

This is an alternative recipe for one of my favourite Malaysian curries. I would normally eat it with chicken, but pork works equally well so you choose. The vivid colour is so appealing – and the taste is so utterly delicious that I just can’t stop my urge to pile my bowl in a disgraceful heap of meat and sauce.


For the paste:

6 dried red chillies (soaked in hot water for 20 minutes)
6 shallots (chopped)
5 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger (chopped)
2 teaspoons fresh turmeric (or powdered)
2 teaspoons chinese 5 spice powder
1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the curry:
2 teaspoons peanut oil
1kg pork (or chicken) (large cubes)
1 1/2 cinnamon sticks
400ml coconut milk
250ml chicken stock
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon tamarind pulp

For the paste:

Blend together all the paste ingredients into a semi smooth paste in a pestle & mortar or food processor.

For the curry:
Heat the oil in a large pan over a moderate heat. Fry the curry paste and cinnamon sticks for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add the pork and fry for 1-2 minutes more. Pour in the coconut milk and stock along with the sugar, salt, pepper and tamarind. Stir then bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low then gently simmer with the lid on for 1 1/2 hours until tender.

Serve over rice with a sprinkling of coriander and crispy onions.

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