7 ounces (200 grams) pork shoulder blade, cut against the grain into long strips about 1½ inches wide and 1/8 inch thick
Standard Meat Marinade (page 310)
1 cup water
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 Thai, Indian, or Chinese eggplants
1 cup thick part of coconut milk
1/4 cup Red Curry Paste (page 302)
1/2 cup bite-size pieces peeled butternut squash
1-1/4 cups well-shaken coconut milk + 1-1/4 cups water, well combined (this is your thin coconut milk, see page 16)
2 fresh red spur chilies, cut crosswise into 1-1/2-inch pieces
1 cup packed fresh Thai basil leaves
5 magrud lime leaves (see page 18)
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
Steamed Jasmine Rice (page 300), for serving
In a medium bowl, combine the pork and the standard meat marinade. Mix with your hands. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight. The pork should absorb all the marinade. If not, wipe away the excess marinade before adding the pork to the pot.
Prepare the eggplant: In a medium bowl, stir together the water, lime juice, and salt. Trim the ends off each eggplant, then cut lengthwise into quarters. Add to the bowl and soak to prevent the eggplant from turning brown. Set aside. Drain and rinse just before cooking.
In a medium pot over high heat, heat the thick coconut milk until it bubbles thoroughly, two to three minutes. Add the red curry paste, pork, and squash and stir to mix. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, for about five minutes. The curry paste should start to bubble and the oil will rise to the top. Add the thin coconut milk and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes.
Add the eggplant and cook, stirring constantly to fully submerge the eggplant to prevent it from turning brown. Add the chilies, Thai basil leaves, lime leaves, and fish sauce. Mix well and cook for another minute. Remove from the heat.
In a small bowl, stir together the coconut sugar and 1/2 cup of the curry sauce until the sugar is fully dissolved, then stir into the pot. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.