Note: Because this was an “on the fly” recipe challenge, some of the amounts given are estimated only. You can watch the video for a visual guide of how much I used.
~8 soft taco shells, or hard if you prefer
- 1 lb lean ground pork (or ground beef)
- 1 smal jar “Thai Kitchen” brand red curry paste (112g, 4oz), if using other brands you’ll likely need about 3-4 Tbsp
- ½ cup coconut milk
- Fish sauce, to taste
- 1 tsp sugar
- ⅓ cup diced water chestnuts
- 1/3 cup coconut milk
- 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp water
- ~ 1 tsp lime juice
- A pinch of salt
Thai Cabbage Slaw
- 2–3 Thai chilies, or to taste
- 1 tsp sugar (use palm sugar if you have it)
- 2 Tbsp Fish sauce
- 2 Tbsp Lime juice
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 2 Tbsp thinly sliced shallot
- ~ 3 cups shredded red cabbage
- 1 green onion, chopped
- A few sprigs cilantro, chopped, plus extra for garnish
For the Filling:
- Add coconut milk to a wok and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add red curry paste and stir to mix with the coconut milk, then keep cooking and stirring until very thick and the coconut oil will start to separate from the paste.
- Add the ground pork and toss to mix with the curry paste, turning the heat up to medium high. Keep stirring until fully cooked.
- Add sugar and water chestnuts and toss to mix. Then taste and add fish sauce as needed.
For the Coconut “Crema”
- Put coconut milk in a small pot.
- Dissolve the cornstarch in the water. Then add about half of the dissolved cornstarch to the coconut milk. Turn the heat on high and stir CONSTANTLY until it comes to a boil.
- Once boiling, look to see if it needs to be thickened further (it will thicken a bit more once it cools down). If so, add more of the the cornstarch slurry. You want it to still be easily pourable but thick enough that it won’t run all over the place once you drizzle it on the taco. If you’ve added too much cornstarch, just add more coconut milk to thin it out.
- Add salt and lime juice, then taste and adjust as needed. You want it to be just a bit tart (no more than sour cream or yogurt-level).
For the Thai Slaw:
- To make the dressing, in a mortar pound chilies until fine (or you can finely mince).
- Add the sugar and swirl with the pestle to help break down the chili skins even more.
- Add fish sauce, lime juice, and stir to dissolve the sugar.
- Add shallots and tomatoes and stir to allow some of the tomato juices to mix in with the dressing. Set this aside until close to serving, don’t toss it with the cabbage too far in advance.
- When ready to use, pour the dressing over the cabbage and add chopped green onions and cilantro to taste. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
If using soft tacos, heat the tortillas on a dry frying pan until hot. Place filling on the shell, top with the slaw and drizzle with the coconut crema. Enjoy!