Burmese pork curry

2 hours


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


Toss the pork thoroughly in the vinegar, 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 minutes
Remove the pork and set aside, reserving the cooking liquor in a bowl. Do not wash the saucepan – you'll reuse it later
Pound the ginger into a rough pulp using a pestle and mortar, then add 2 tablespoons of water to make a ginger juice, then strain through a sieve, squeezing as much liquid out of the pulp as possible. Discard the pulp and reserve the liquid
Heat the oil in the same saucepan used to boil the pork over a medium-high heat. Add the diced pork and fry for 4–5 minutes until browned all over. Add the onion wedges and ginger juice, then stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the reserved pork cooking liquor, sugar, soy sauces and pepper along with 500ml of water and bring to the boil
Turn down the heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours until the sauce is sticky and reduced
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