Fans of Indian and Southeast Asian food know that many curry dishes incorporate sweet ingredients such as raisins or bits of mango to play off the salt and spices. We thought, “Why not dried cranberries?” The result is a wonderfully flavorful blend of savory, sweet, and spicy notes, accented with fresh herbs and enriched with coconut milk. Even better, it’s simple enough for everyday cooking. You’ll find red curry paste and fish sauce in the international-foods aisle of your local supermarket.
1-1/2 cups basmati or jasmine rice
Zest of 1 lime, cut into very thin strips
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, divided
3/4 cup light coconut milk
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon firmly packed light-brown sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
3 tablespoons vegetable oil (such as canola)
1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into strips about 1/2 inch wide and 2 inches long
2 cups sliced button mushrooms
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
4 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage
1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1/2 cup roughly chopped scallions
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
1/3 cup chopped salted peanuts
In a 4- to 5-quart pot, combine rice and 2-1/2 cups water. Let sit 15 minutes; then stir in lime zest and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Cover the pot. Bring to a boil; then reduce heat to low and cook until rice absorbs all the water, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together coconut milk, curry paste, fish sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, and lime juice. Set aside.
In a large frying pan or wok over high heat, heat oil until it shimmers.
Add pork and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until no longer pink on the outside, about 2 minutes.
Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, 2 minutes.
Add garlic, ginger, cabbage, and cranberries, stirring an additional minute.
Add coconut-milk mixture and simmer 3 minutes.
Remove from heat. Pork should be cooked through but not dry (cut to check).
Divide rice among six bowls; top with pork mixture, scallions, cilantro, and a sprinkle of peanuts.