Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Curry up!

"Once you get a spice in your home, you have it forever. Women never throw out spices. The Egyptians were buried with their spices. I know which one I'm taking with me when I go.”

-Erma Bombeck (U.S. humorist, 1927-1996)

Just thought I should add a random quote about spice for today's post. I'm not a big fan of curry but I don't hate it either. It's just there is something so strong about it that sticks with you all throughout the day.

The way it clings to your breath and a hint of it every time you burp when you had curried food - it's distracting! But really, in a sweet way like when an old flame crosses your mind on a random Tuesday morning as you throw out the garbage. Haha. What in the world am I talking about?

Two weeks ago, I created a curried dish. It was a self-dare somewhat, because I've never had curried pork. It's always chicken anywhere. So I did it and it was pretty yummy. It was a hit in the dining table.

Pork Curry in Mushroom and Green Bean Surprise

Ingredients for Pork Curry:

1/2 Kilo Pork, cut into bite-sized pieces (I prefer it with the fat and skin on!)
2 tbsp Calamansi juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 cup Soy sauce
1 tbsp Brown sugar
1 tsp Curry powder
1 clove (or more) Garlic, minced
1 tbsp Cooking oil

Ingredients for Mushroom and Green Bean Surprise:

1/2 cup Button mushroom, pieces and stems
1 cup Green beans, chopped 
1 cup Sweet potatoes, boiled, peeled and crumbled
3 tbsp Oyster Sauce
1 cup Broth of the canned mushroom
1 tbsp Butter

First off, marinate the pork in calamansi juice, soy sauce and brown sugar. The longer it gets soaked in, the better! When you think it's ready or when you really need to eat ASAP, prepare the pan, heat the oil over medium fire and saute the garlic until golden brown. Add the pork (without the marinade) and stir-fry for about 5 minutes.

If you have marinated the pork long enough (i.e., overnight) it's much quicker to cook and it's a lot tender and flavorful too.

When the pork gets pot-sticky, you can now pour in the marinade. Season it with the curry powder, cover, and let it simmer for 10 minutes in low fire. When time's up, taste the sauce and add a little bit of what you think it lacks. If you think it's too mild, add a little more curry. If you think it's too bland, add more soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce. Or maybe you want it a little bit sweeter, add some sugar. Always, always a little bit when adding stuff. :)

So it should most likely look like this:

After you've set the pork curry aside, get ready for the mushroom and green bean surprise. Last post's gravy must be fresh in your memory but all I can say is sweet potatoes gave it a whole different life.

Now heat your skillet over medium fire. Melt the butter and saute the green beans and mushrooms for about 4-5 minutes then add the sweet potatoes.

Stir and fold it over and over for 3-4 minutes or  until it's totally mixed with the vegetables.
 Remember your pork curry? It's time to strain it or pour it over like this:

If your pork curry has a lot of sauce, you don't have to pour in the mushroom broth. From what I've tried though, the sweet potatoes quickly sucked in the sauce I had so I needed to pour in a bit of broth. The consistency is really up to you now. Taste it and season to your liking. Stir a little more before adding the pork in, or if you like, you can place it as a side dish with the pork curry as the rice topping. As for me, I want it mixed altogether gumbo-style :)

The last time I had curried food before this one was the famous chicken curry with the coconut milk and ginger. It was really tender and creamy courtesy of Ma. Curry powder, in my opinion, truly gives character to a dish - like how a man gives the woman her last name. Now, the power of pork + the power of curry powder? Chicken curry should be very very afraid. :)

Till the next eats!
♥Chef Shak

(P.S. Special thanks to the Indians for sharing this spice to the world.)


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