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28 Apr 2022

MiMi Aye’s classic pork curry

MiMi Aye’s classic pork curry
This classic curry from Mogok, my mother’s home town, is more or less used to wean Burmese children — my nephews and nieces can eat bowls and bowls of the stuff, as it's sweet and mild, yet addictive.

Before my youngest nephew could talk properly, whenever he visited his grandparents, he’d ask for ‘pok and yice’ (pork and rice), and I'm pleased to say that my own children are now equally big fans.

Serves 4-6
Takes 3 hours

  • 1kg pork leg or shoulder, with some fat, diced into 2.5cm cubes
  • 100ml malt vinegar
  • 4 medium onions, peeled
  • 2cm piece of ginger, peeled
  • 4 tbsp groundnut oil or other neutral oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper


  1. Toss the pork thoroughly in the vinegar and then discard the vinegar (this imparts a slight sourness and is traditionally thought to clean the pork). Place the pork in a large saucepan and add enough water to just submerge. Cover the pan with a lid and bring to the boil over a high heat. Turn the heat down to medium-low and continue to simmer, with the lid on, for 15 mins. 
  2. Remove the pork and set to one side; pour the pork juices into a bowl and reserve. Don’t wash the saucepan – you'll reuse it later.
  3. Slice the onions into wedges. Pound the ginger into a rough pulp using a pestle and mortar. Add 2 tbsp of water in the well of the mortar and stir to make ginger juice. You can also blitz the ginger with the water in a food processor, but all you want is the juice, so you’ll need to strain it. Whichever method you choose, be sure to squeeze the pulp to get all the juices out and discard said pulp.
  4. Heat the oil in the saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the pork cubes and toss for 4-5 mins until browned all over. Add the onion wedges and ginger juice and stir-fry for another min. Add the reserved pork juices, sugar, light and dark soy sauces and pepper, along with 500ml of water. Cover the pan with a lid and bring to the boil.
  5. Now turn down the heat to medium-low and simmer for 1½ hours until the sauce is sticky and reduced.
  6. When the time is up, the pork should be tender and fall apart if you poke it with a fork. Serve with lots of fluffy white rice and stir-fried greens on the side. 

Cook’s Note

  • After you’ve added all the ingredients and brought them to the boil, you could transfer everything to a lidded casserole dish and place in an oven preheated to 160°C/140°C Fan/Gas Mark 3 for 1½ hours. This will give the same tender pork, but the sauce will be much thinner and there will be more of it. This curry freezes very well and will keep frozen for up to a month.

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