Sawadee ka! I am Sirinya, and today I want to take you on a culinary journey to the northern part of Thailand. Here, you will discover one of the most delicious and authentic dishes that the region has to offer – Hang Le Curry. If you are a foodie like me, you cannot miss this amazing dish.
Northern Thai cuisine is known for its distinctive flavors and the use of fragrant herbs and spices. The cuisine is heavily influenced by the Burmese and Chinese culture, making it unique and diverse in its own way. Hang Le Curry is one such dish that has a unique blending of spices which makes it an authentic Northern Thai dish.
Hang Le Curry is a traditional dish made with pork belly, pickled garlic, ginger, turmeric, and peanuts. The curry is slow-cooked, allowing all the flavors to blend together and create an unforgettable taste. The name Hang Le comes from the pot that is used to prepare the dish. The pot is usually made of clay and is known for its unique flavor and cooking abilities.
But where can you find the best Hang Le Curry in Northern Thailand? Join me as I take you on a journey to discover the best Northern Thai Hang Le Curry. So, grab your fork and join me on this culinary adventure!
The Origin of Hang Le Curry
If you are a fan of Thai food and looking for something new to try, then you must sample the Hang Le Curry. It is a popular dish in Northern Thailand, which has become famous among food lovers all over the world. The Hang Le Curry is a beautiful blend of fragrant spices and fresh ingredients that will tantalize your taste buds. Let's start with the history of the curry to understand how it became such a unique and popular dish.
The recipe for Hang Le Curry was passed down through generations of Lanna people, who are the local people of Northern Thailand. The dish takes its name from the small district by the same name in Lamphun Province, Northern Thailand. According to local lore, the recipe for the curry was first devised by a woman named Nang Lae, who lived in the district. She was an expert in creating curries and decided to create a new curry recipe. She experimented with different spices and ingredients, eventually creating a unique blend of spices and herbs that made the dish stand out.
The Hang Le Curry quickly became a popular dish among locals in the Lanna region and soon spread to other parts of Northern Thailand. Today, the dish is considered a must-try for foodies who want to explore traditional Thai cuisine.
Ingredients Used in Hang Le Curry
The key ingredients of Hang Le Curry, which give it its unique flavor and aroma, include slow-cooked pork belly, turmeric, ginger, garlic, lemongrass, galangal, shallots, chili, and fresh herbs like kaffir lime leaves, coriander, and Thai basil. These ingredients come together to create a delicate balance of flavors, ranging from savory, spicy, sweet, and tangy.
The pork belly used in Hang Le Curry is different from the crispy pork belly in Chinese cuisine. In Thailand, pork belly is used in several dishes, but in Hang Le Curry, it is slow-cooked to create a soft and tender texture that melts in your mouth. The curry also includes peanuts, which provide a crunchy texture and an earthy flavor to the dish.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Cooking Hang Le Curry
If you are inspired to try cooking Hang Le Curry at home, here is a quick and easy recipe to guide you through the process.
- 500g pork belly, cut into bite-size pieces
- 5 tablespoons of red curry paste
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons palm sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups of water
- 10-12 kaffir lime leaves
- 1/2 cup of roasted peanuts
- 1/2 cup of chopped coriander
- Start by heating a wok or a casserole pot over medium heat and add the red curry paste. Cook the curry paste for 2-3 minutes until it becomes fragrant.
- Add in the pork belly and stir to coat it evenly with the curry paste.
- Add in the fish sauce, palm sugar, and salt and stir to combine.
- Add water to the pot and bring it to a boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 1 hour.
- After an hour, add in the kaffir lime leaves and roasted peanuts and let it cook for an additional 20 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, add the chopped coriander and serve the curry hot with steamed rice.
How to Enjoy Hang Le Curry Like a Local
There are different ways to enjoy Hang Le Curry, but one way to do it like a local is to have it with sticky rice or steamed rice. The combination of the creamy and savory curry with steamed rice is a perfect combination. Some locals also eat Hang Le Curry with fresh vegetables such as cucumber or long beans on the side.
If you are in Northern Thailand, you will find several street vendors and small restaurants that serve authentic Hang Le Curry. It is a must-try dish that you don't want to miss.
Where to Find the Best Hang Le Curry in Northern Thailand
If you are a foodie looking for an authentic experience, you might explore the streets of Northern Thailand to find the best Hang Le Curry. However, if you are not familiar with the area, we recommend visiting the following places:
- Khao Soi Khun Yai in Chiang Mai: This small restaurant is known for its delicious Hang Le Curry. It is located at the back of the San Pakoi Market, and it is a popular spot among locals.
- Huen Muan Jai in Chiang Mai: This place is famous for its traditional Northern Thai dishes, including Hang Le Curry. They serve fresh, home-cooked meals, and the restaurant is cozy and charming.
- Khamsaen in Lamphun: This family-run restaurant serves authentic Northern Thai cuisine, including Hang Le Curry. The restaurant is located in the center of Lamphun, and the food is both delicious and affordable.
Tips and Tricks for Making the Perfect Hang Le Curry at Home
Making the perfect Hang Le Curry at home can be a challenging task, but here are some tips to guide you along the way:
- Use fresh ingredients: The key to making a delicious Hang Le Curry is using fresh ingredients. Using stale or expired herbs and spices will compromise the flavor of the dish.
- Slow-cook the pork belly: To achieve a tender and melt-in-your-mouth pork belly, you will need to slow-cook it for an hour at least.
- Adjust the spice level: If you prefer your curry spicier, add more chili to increase the heat level. If you don't like it too spicy, you can reduce the amount of chili added.
- Garnish with fresh herbs: Garnish the dish with fresh coriander and other herbs to add a pop of color and flavor to the curry.
In conclusion, discovering Hang Le Curry is an amazing experience that you don't want to miss. It is an authentic dish that reflects the Northern Thai culture and cuisine. Whether you try it at home or visit North Thailand and eat in a local restaurant, it is an adventure worth taking. So, embrace your inner foodie and indulge in this unique dish!