One of the best soups Ive ever had: Laotian Pork Belly Curry

Bida Manda in Raleigh, NC recently did an instagram live sharing how to make one of the best restaurant dishes I can remember eating, and I think everyone needs to know how to make it. They shared the ingredient list in their Instagram profile and the steps for making it are below.

Heat oil in large pan (I used a dutch oven)
Saute shallot and garlic (note: I used more shallot and garlic cuz I chopped too much, was still great)
Add ground pork and brown
add Paprika and sugar
Stir in coconut cream, broth, stir until simmering
Add fish sauce and kefir lime
Simmer on low at least 30 mins, up to 2 hours no problem.

Meanwhile, boil pork belly until tender (their recipe says about 10 minutes, I like my pork belly more tender so I did 30 mins)
Soak dried noodles in water
Remove pork belly and dry. Poke holes all over skin and smear with fish sauce
Fry pork belly until crispy, then slice thinly.

To assemble dish: soaked noodles in bottom of bowl, cabbage on one side. Pour hot soup over noodles and arrange pork belly on the other side.


Couple notes: I used pork picnic meat and ground it myself for the ground pork. Both the curry paste and kefir lime I ordered from Amazon and found pretty easy. This dish pairs really well with Riesling!

sounds killer.

delicious! when we ate it at the restaurant, my wife teared up a little bit. and this at home version is a really good approximation. if you’re ever in Raleigh, Bida Manda is a must stop. if not, this is still a great dish.

That sounds delicious, Matt. Your recipe doesn’t mention when/where to add the cup of red curry paste. Can you clarify?

So awesome that you were able to find this recipe! Out of curiosity do you still have the ingredient list and amounts? It looks like Bida Manda took down nearly everything off their Instagram, so the attached link no longer works. Thanks in advance!!

hey sorry! not sure how I missed that step! I put it in with the paprika and sugar

yeah… I think around the time the BLM stuff came out they got called out on some other discriminatory practices in the management and that was their answer unfortunately… doesn’t change that the soup is delicious though.

1 can of Maesri red curry paste
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I use a little less)
2lb ground pork (I use boneless pork leg that I grind)
1/2 cup shallot
1/2 cup garlic
2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
4 cans coconut cream (Chao Koh brand)
1-2 cups stock
1 cup crushed plain peanuts
kefir lime
rice noodles
chopped napa cabbage

Not discriminatory practices, instead “allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate workplace conduct” - and

Thanks for reposting the recipe.

The soup is pork belly curry; they were grinding pork belly, and you are substituting leg?

yeah that was the allegations I had actually seen, because I caught them in the original instagram post where they were alleged, but then never actually saw anything after that once the post got deleted, so I didn’t go any further.

and yeah, I swapped leg. mostly because the soup is just SO fatty and even though its delicious it just leaves me feeling uncomfortable afterwards. with leg it still has a significant amount of fat, but considerably less than the original. TBH I thought it was just called pork belly curry because they finish it with sliced crispy pork belly, I didn’t even think of the fact that it was the source of the ground pork as well! my automatic thought it ground pork in a recipe is probably shoulder.

for the record, the last couple times Ive made it (its been three times already since I posted this) I’ve actually skipped the sliced-pork-belly-as-a-topping piece of this completely and poached chicken thighs in it, then removed them, diced them, put them back in the sauce, and made a rice bowl with it instead of an actual soup. its good both ways, but this way I feel like I don’t need an immediate nap after dinner.