Jungle curry of pork braised in hay, turmeric, krachai and peanuts

By Chef Benjamin Cooper

Benjamin Cooper



  • 50g rendered pork fat
  • 10-20g caster sugar
  • 50ml fish sauce
  • 30g scud chilli – roughly chopped
  • 45g shredded krachai
  • 10g kaffir lime leaf scrap
  • 30g pickled turmeric
  • 20g pickled garlic
  • 40g crushed peanuts
  • 100-150g jungle curry paste
  • 60ml tamarind water
  • 60ml lime juice
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • 250g pork braised in hay
  • 100g baby corn roll cut
  • 50g pea eggplant
  • 60g apple eggplant – thick sliced
  • 30g red chilli shards
  • 50g snake beans – cut into inch lengths
  • 20g Thai basil
  • 20g holy basil


  • 20g crushed peanuts
  • 20g kaffir lime leaf julienne
  • 10-15 scud chilli
  • 20g crispy shallots

Jungle curry paste

  • 450g scud chilli (stem removed)
  • 400g long green chilli – stem removed
  • 400g peeled garlic
  • 400g peeled galangal
  • 400g lemongrass
  • 160g coriander root
  • 350g peeled shallots
  • 350g peeled turmeric
  • 50g sea salt

Pork braised in hay

  • 250g premium food grade hay - washed and picked
  • 3 litres chicken stock
  • 2kg pork hock (completely sealed in a wok of hot oil prior to braising)
  • 100ml fish sauce
  • 60g palm sugar
  • 30g lime leaf
  • 50g galangal
  • 50g lemongrass
  • 40g red chilli
  • 50g krachai


  1. 1.
    Jungle curry paste: Pound all ingredients in a mortar and pestle to produce a fine paste or blitz all ingredients in a robot coupe or blender to form a fine paste.
  2. 2.
    Pork braised in hay: In a bowl combine all ingredients except the chicken stock and the pork. In a large heavy based pot add some of the hay mix to create a bed and then cover with half the stock, place the sealed hocks on this and then continue to bury with the remaining hay. Cover with the stock and a cartouche, bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer. Braise for 3 - 3 ½ hours. At the 2 ½ hour point check at regular intervals to ensure you don’t overcook. Once cooked remove from the pot and strip from the bone breaking into large chunks of flesh. Set the skin aside and allow to cool. If you want you can shallow fry the skin to use as a garnish.
  3. 3.
    Curry: Heat rendered pork fat in a wide pot.
Add the pickled turmeric/garlic and fry until fragrant.
 Add the jungle paste, krachai, peanuts, kaffir lime leaf and chopped scud chilli. 
Continue to fry until fragrant, de-glaze pan with ½ the tamarind + lime juice and sugar add chicken stock and fish sauce and bring to boil.
 Add pork and heat through.
 Add veg & check seasoning, add the remaining tamarind and lime juice as necessary.
 Finish with holy basil and Thai basil.