Spice Up Your Low Carb Diet with Instant Pot Thai Pork Coconut Curry
This fiery Instant Pot pork curry is bursting with classic Thai flavours! Succulent pieces of pork simmered in a spicy blend of aromatic spices, coconut milk, and a touch of heat. This tantalizing combination of flavours will leave your taste buds tingling with delight. A perfectly cooked low carb, Paleo, and whole30 friendly curry in a fraction of the time!
Why You Will Love This Instant Pot Recipe
- The instant pot makes this a simple one pot meal full of complex Thai flavours
- Pork shoulder is a rich, flavourful, and affordable cut of meat that becomes so tender and soft thanks to the instant pot
- Low in net carbs and uses clean, simple ingredients, ideal for low carb, keto, whole30, or paleo
- This simple instant pot recipe will make you seem like a expert in the kitchen and add variety and spice to your low carb diet.
Everything You Need to Know
Below is a deeper dive into the steps and ingredients of this recipe, if you want to jump ahead to cook this recipe now, use the jump to recipe button below.
Aromatic curry paste
This Thai dish is starts off with a well made aromatic curry paste consisting of:
- Plenty of hot chillies
- Red or green peppers
- Ginger for galangal
- Lime juice
For more information on making an aromatic curry paste you can see my dedicated post here. But the gist of it is, take all your aromatics, and pulse them in a food processor or blender until it forms a paste with a consistency similar to a pesto or chimichurri.
There are many chilies in this paste so it itself will taste quite spicy but when cooked down in a dish the heat will mellow. You can opt to use more green and red peppers in place of the chilies if you are worried the heat will be too much, but remember spice and heat is a quintessential part of South Asian cuisine.
Depending on the hot and sweet peppers used, your paste might be bright orange/red or a lime green/yellow colour.
When making an aromatic curry paste you end up with way more than you need, but don’t worry, it keeps well in the fridge and you can use it for a variety of other recipes, or as a spicy, garlicky condiment for curry or kebabs.
Recipes Using Aromatic Curry Paste
Breaking Down Lemongrass
Lemongrass has many tough outer layers that need to be removed. You can slice it in half lengthwise an peel away the outer tough layers to get to the soft core, or use the blunt backside of a knife and hit the stalk up and down the length repeatedly to help separate the outer layers before removing.
Choosing The Pork
For a curry like this you want a rich fatty cut of pork. While pork shoulder, sometimes called pork butt, Boston butt, or picnic roast can be tough, in this recipe it’s butter soft as it’s braised in the pressure cooker/instant pot, pork shoulder is a perfect choice for this low carb Thai curry.
Not only is pork shoulder rich and delicious, it’s generally a cheaper, more affordable cut of pork.
If you prefer you can use pork loin, tenderloin, or pork chops as well.
Choosing the Coconut Milk
Not all coconut milk is created equal! Here are a few things to look for when choosing coconut milk for curry.
You want a full fat unsweetened coconut milk. When you open the can there should be a thick layer of white coconut cream on top that takes up most of the can. Without this layer of fat, your curry will be lacking depth. You might need to try a few different brands to find one that works. I use Red Rooster or Grace.
If you can’t find one that fits this criteria, you can add a few pieces of creamed coconut to get that richness.
Instant Pot Thai Pork Curry (Low Carb, Paleo, Whole30)
IMPORTANT – There are often Frequently Asked Questions within the blog post that you may find helpful. Simply scroll back up to read them!
- 3 Tablespoons coconut oil
- ½ cup aromatic curry paste recipe below
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 pounds pork shoulder cubed
- ½ teaspoon cayenne optional
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2-3 whole Thai chillies red or green
- 4 whole cardamom pods green or black
- 1 teaspoon coriander heaping
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon ginger julienned
- 1 stalk lemon grass finely chopped
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 4 tablespoons creamed coconut see notes
- ¼ cup lime/lemon juice
- ¼ cup cilantro to garnish
- toasted coconut optional topping
Aromatic Curry Paste
- 1 large onion roughly chopped
- 1 large bell pepper red or green
- 5-6 whole Thai chili peppers red or green
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 cup cilantro roughly chopped
- 2 large lemongrass stalks finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon turmeric root optional
- Make the aromatic curry paste. Roughly chop all the ingredients in add them to a food processor. Blitz until a fine paste forms that consistency similar to a pesto or a chimichurri.1 large onion, 1 large bell pepper, 5-6 whole Thai chili peppers, 5 cloves garlic, 1 cup cilantro, 2 large lemongrass stalks, 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, 1 tablespoon turmeric root
- Saute the pork with the paste. Set the instant pot to sauté and add the coconut oil to heat, and once hot add the cubed pork shoulder, salt, and curry paste. Sauté until the pork is browned. About 10 to 15 minutes.3 Tablespoons coconut oil, ½ cup aromatic curry paste, 2 pounds pork shoulder, ½ tsp salt
- Cook off the spices. Make a well in the middle of the pot to expose the bottom and add the cardamom, whole chilies, coriander, paprika, cayenne, black pepper, lemon grass, and ginger to the well. Cook the spices for 2-3 minutes and then stir to combine with the meat.½ teaspoon cayenne, 1 tablespoon paprika, 2-3 whole Thai chillies, 4 whole cardamom pods, 1 teaspoon coriander, 1 tablespoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon ginger, 1 stalk lemon grass
- Add coconut milk. Add coconut milk to the instant pot, and a cup or two of water, just enough to almost cover the pork.1 can full fat coconut milk, water
- Pressure cook until tender. Press manual pressure cook on the Instant pot, and set the time to 15 minutes. Close the lid and make sure the rear vent set to the "sealing" position. It should be turned towards the back of the unit. It will take a few moment for the Instant pot to seal and the timer to start. Once the timer is done let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes by leaving the vent knob in the sealing position, then turn the vent knob to the venting position the release any remaining pressure.
- Add creamed coconut and sauté. Set the instant pot to sauté and add the creamed coconut. Simmer for 5 minutes until the coconut has combined and lightened the gravy.4 tablespoons creamed coconut
- Finish off the curry, rest and serve. Add lemon juice, cilantro, salt to taste, and turn off the instant pot. Let the curry rest uncovered for 5-10 minutes and serve over cauliflower rice, or with your favourite veggie side dish.¼ cup lime/lemon juice, ¼ cup cilantro, toasted coconut
Nutritional information is calculated using the recipe calculator and verified database available from Cronometer. Although every reasonable effort is made to provide accurate information this estimate is provided as courteously and convenience only. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe.Try the free recipe calculator at Cronometer
What to Serve with Thai Pork Curry