Thai Lemongrass ground pork is a flavorful, simple, and spicy dish that you can make anytime of the week. This is a homestyle dish that you generally won't find in Thai restaurants.
While some Thai recipes can be really labor intensive and super time consuming to make (which generally makes the dish absolutely worth it), this dish is so easy to make and can be done in a matter of minutes with the end dish stilling being absolute perfection.
All About Thai Khua Bua La Pha
Thai spicy lemongrass ground pork is known as Khua Bua La Pha.
Why This Recipe Works
It's flexible with the protein that you want to use for it. It doesn't have to be ground pork. The flavors are pretty much all in this dish, including sweet, sour, salty, tangy, and spicy. It's also a one pan dish that can be made in just a matter of minutes.
Asian Grocery Store Ingredient List
Lemongrass provides a mix of ginger and licorice notes to the dish and has a unique favor. The lemongrass in this dish provides the harmony for the garlic and shallots. In Asian markets, you'll find the lemongrass in the fresh vegetable aisle. You can also found them in various forms like pre-ground, in plastic bags or jars, and even frozen. I would recommend getting fresh lemongrass if possible. You'll want to look for a firm stalk that is bright green on top, but has a muted yellow color on bottom. When stir frying, you'll be using the yellow base. When simmering, you'll often use the middle of the stalk (like for Tom Yum Soup).
Kaffir Lime Leaves
Kaffir lime leaves can also be found in the refrigerated section of the Asian grocer.
Garlic and Shallots
What you'll notice going to an Asian grocer is that garlic and shallots can be found relatively inexpensive as compared to your normal western grocer with a larger variety. Stock up on some shallots if you can.
Bird's Eye Chili Peppers
You can find the Thai variety of bird's eye chili peppers in most Asian grocers in the fresh food aisles. They generally come in small bags mixed with red and green peppers.
Tips and Tricks Before Cooking
Different Proteins Are Okay
If you don't necessarily want to use pork, you can use chicken or beef instead. I find that pork provides more fat, which in turn makes the dish a little bit more savory (and probably a little less healthy as compared to chicken and beef).
Food Processor for Lemongrass
To mince the lemongrass, cut the lemongrass into half inch chunks. Then, add it to a food processor to mince it down. If you get a pulpy mess, that means that the lemongrass you choose was probably not the healthiest stalk.
Serving Thai Spicy Lemongrass Ground Pork
To serve Thai spicy lemongrass pork, take a a simple bowl of jasmine rice and ladle the dish on top of the rice. For garnishing, you can always chop up green onion and cilantro together and sprinkle on top of the dish.
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 1 pound of ground pork
- 1 stalk of lemongrass
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 3 large shallots
- 4 Birdseye peppers
- ½ tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
- 4 kaffir lime leaves
- ½ cup of green onion, chopped
- ½ cup of cilantro, chopped
- Cut the lemongrass into ½ inch pieces. Cut the shallots into ½ pieces.
- Using a food processor, add the lemongrass, garlic, shallots, and birdseye peppers together and pulse until the mixture is minced.
- On the stove, heat up the vegetable oil on medium high heat. Add in the processed mixture, kaffir lime leaves, and stir for 2-4 minutes until golden and aromatic.
- Add in the ground pork. Midway through cooking the pork, add in paprika, sugar, and fish sauce.
- Continue cooking until pork is done. Remove the kaffir lime leaves that were used during cooking.
- Ladle on plate, garnish with kaffir lime leaves, green onion, and cilantro on top.
Jalapenos can be used as a substitution for birds eye chili.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 501Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 107mgSodium: 807mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 4gSugar: 9gProtein: 33g
Frequently Asked Questions
Thai lemongrass ground pork stir fry is generally made spicy, so someone who is sensitive to heat may not enjoy this dish.
You can substitute lemon zest and juice for lemongrass by adding the finely grated zest and fresh juice from a lemon. It will definitely produce a different taste.
Summary About Lemongrass Spicy Pork
I hope you loved this simple spicy lemongrass pork dish as much as our family does. It's a really easy, delicious meal that can be made on busy weeknights that still provides a ton of flavor. It is exploding with flavor.