This week, the focus is on the Kua Khing (often referred to as Khua Kling) from Nana Restaurant.
Nana Restaurant, 406 Central Ave, is a newly opened Thai & Spanish restaurant (two separate menus - they merged with the previously existing Spanish restaurant) focusing on Southern Thai recipes like the Kua Khing, a traditional southern curry paste mixed with ground pork, chicken, or beef with lime leaves put over lettuce and served with rice. It's considered a dry curry, cooked with little else besides the meat and curry paste but packed with flavor
I'd recommend getting it with the ground pork and although you can get it with regular steamed rice, the sticky coconut rice is worth the swap. We were forewarned this would be very spicy and while there was some noticeable heat, it was much milder than I anticipated, but I wouldn't recommend it for the spice-averse. There's a lot of layers of intense flavor, but they all balance each other at really well. At first bite, you get the herbs and garlic, then the deeper, savory flavors of salt and still tender and juicy pork at which point the heat and chiles start to kick in, intensifying the previous flavors with the kaffir lime as a final touch smoothing it all out. It's one of the best-seasoned dishes I've had in a long time with a lot of nuance to all the different flavors that add up to have a huge impact.
While I wish they served it with butter lettuce or just something besides chopped up iceberg, this is an addictive dish that hit every taste bud and a great way to experience a lot of the quintessential flavors in southern Thai food. It's also only $9.
Have a Friday Feature you'd like to nominate? Comment below, email me, or post a picture of it on Instagram with #jceatsFF along with a sentence or two about what it is you're nominating for a chance to have it included on the blog. One restriction - please don't nominate your own food if you're a restaurant or chef.