Title: Beef Kua Kling
Yield: 2-4 Servings

(adapted from http://www.thaifoodtoworld.com/home/recipedetail.php?recipe_id=32&language=EN )

Main ingredients

500 g Beef or Pork (coarsely or finely chopped, see pictures, coarse lean mince in a pinch)

5 leaves Finely sliced/chopped kaffir lime leave (or more to taste)

30 g Oil  (peanut oil) - less if you used oil in the paste.


2 sticks Finely chopped lemon grass 

2-4 cloves Garlic 

2 Asian shallots

30g Chopped galangal (young and soft preferred, peeled, you can also use the jars of preserved young galangal in brine, use less salt if you do)

15 g Chopped turmeric (fresh, peeled),  I added a tsp of Turmeric powder as well.

30 g Finely chopped kaffir lime leaves (this is a lot of leaves, 25-30, I used about half this quantity)

7 g Salt (less to taste, the shrimp paste is quite salty)

~ 50 Dried chilli  (small Thai chillies, depending on how hot you want and how hot the chillies are, I added a few fresh chillies too)

50 g Green pepper corns (or black pepper) 

1 Tbs Shrimp paste, the soft Thai style 

Optional:  A little sugar if you like some sweetness with the spicy heat and/or a little coconut cream for texture and flavour.


-          Prepare the paste in a mortar/pestle or blender/food processor (use a little oil if using the blender).  The chillies should be de-seeded and soaked in cold water for 15 minutes and then chopped before processing.  (Be careful with the fresh turmeric, it stains fingers and clothing and light-coloured benchtops).

-          stir beef and oil in hot wok or frying pan

-          add the paste and stir-fry until dry (might take a while), tossing/stirring frequently and reduce heat to make sure the paste doesn't burn

-          add the finely chopped kaffir lime leaves then it's ready to serve

This is the paste I made and the final product, it was very tasty and just the right amount of chilli heat and, yes, the amount of chopped kaffir lime leaf is correct, but you can use less if you want.


Here are 3 different Koh Samui market food versions:

Update July 2009: On our recent visit to Thailand I picked up 2kg of Kua Kling paste in Surat Thani.  Total cost 180Bt (about $6.70).  Quarantine didn't even want to look at the "Thai curry paste" we declared, but I didn't tell them it was 2kg.  One kg will go to our favourite local Thai restaurant (Morks in Florey ACT), as the owner/chef makes Kua Kling for us regularly when he has stocks of the paste, all his relatives have to bring some back when they visit to/from Thailand.