It is a simple dish yet one of my favorite southern Thai eats. ‘Khua Kling’ คั่วกลิ้ง is a dry curry dish of minced or chopped meat, roasted in a wok with southern curry paste. The dish is very simple to prepare and the only slightly lengthy preparation is making your own southern curry paste. I always recommend making your curry paste fresh, unless you are in Thailand and a high quality curry paste is accessible.

Makrut lime leaves and lemongrass perfume the curry with fresh lemony fragrance and chilies add the heat that has granted this dish a reputation even among Thais as an exceptionally spicy one. It is served with white rice.

In this plant based version I decided to replace the minced meat with crumbled three grain organic tempeh, comprising soybeans, barley and rice. This has proven to be a very good choice. I can’t wait to prepare this again!

Ingredients and preparations

Center wok:

  • Vegetable oil
  • 5 ounces or about 150 g of crumbled 3 grain organic tempeh
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • Thinly sliced lemongrass
  • Julienned ‘Makrut‘ lime leaves
  • Sliced ‘Chee Fah’ chilies
  • Sliced ‘Kee Nu’ chilies

Curry paste:

  • 10-12 red dry chilies
  • Sea salt
  • Lemongrass
  • Galangal
  • Shallot
  • Garlic
  • Makrut lime zest or leaves
  • Coriander root
  • Black pepper
  • Coriander seeds
  • Cumin seeds
  • Fresh turmeric
Method

1.Lightly dry roast the dry spices in a pan on low heat one by one until fragrant. Remove from the pan and let cool. Grind the spices in a dry mortar and pestle or in an electric spice grinder and set the ground mix aside.

2.Finely chop the paste ingredients and pound them in a mortar and pestle, adding them one by one, until they turn into a fine and homogeneous paste with sticky consistency. Incorporate the dry spices mix into the curry paste and set aside.

3.Crumble the tempeh and boil it for a few minutes in a vegetable stock or water miked with 1 teaspoon of miso paste. Drain the liquids and set the tempeh aside.

Crumbled tempeh in miso stock

4.Remove the outer layers of the lemongrass stalk until you are left with the inner softer leaves. Bruise the lemongrass with the handle or back of a knife and slice it as thin as possible crosswise. Thinly slice the ‘Makrut’ lime leaves and diagonally slice the chilies.

5.In a wok, heat a little bit of vegetable oil and stir-fry the curry paste on medium heat for about a minute. Add sugar and a pinch of salt. Add the tempeh, increase the heat and quickly fry it with the paste. Toss in the lemongrass and continue to stir-fry, toss in the ‘Makrut’ lime chiffonade and continue to stir-fry add the chilies and incorporate them into the mince. Turn off the heat and transfer to a serving plate. Sprinkle more ‘Makrut’ leaves and chilies and serve with white rice.

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