Slow Cooked Massaman Pork Belly Curry Recipe

Serves: 4


500g Pork belly

2 potatoes (you can choose between a waxy or floury potato) 

1 Brown onion

1 Tin Maesri Massaman curry paste

400ml Coconut milk

¼ Cup water

2 Cups brown rice     

Sprigs of coriander to serve

Slices of lime to serve


Thermal cooker


Step 1: Prepare your ingredients, first slice onion into thin strips and place at the bottom of the thermal cooker pot. Then add the Massaman curry paste, fill the emptied curry tin with water (swirl to remove all remaining paste) then pour this ¼ cup of water into the thermal cooker. Then proceed to slice peeled potatoes into rough cubes, and same again for the pork belly and place potatoes and pork into the thermal pot.

Step 2: Place thermal pot onto the stove and cook, allowing the curry paste and water to come to a bubble, before adding the coconut milk to the pot. Bring to a rolling boil and allow to cook for 10 mins.

Step 3: Remove pot from heat, and place into the thermal shell. Let sit for at least 5 hours to slow cook.

Step 4: Half hour before serving, cook brown rice, and when rice is done and resting- remove pot from thermal shell and place on stove. Bring the curry back to a boil for 5 minutes.

Step 4: Ladle the Massaman pork belly curry onto brown rice, serve with sprigs of coriander and squeeze of lime juice.


I’m thinking in the late 90s there was a fad where all the housewives in Hong Kong bought themselves a Thermal cooker, enticed by the promise of coming home to perfectly cooked flavoursome slow cooked soup every-night. But 15 years on……. each time an Asian kid moved out of home, inevitably mum gives son or daughter the hardly-used Thermal cooker, insisting that they cook soup for themselves to ward off ‘hot air’. So we like millions of other Asian kids before us, we too left home with a Thermal cooker under the arm not really knowing what to do with it.

This series of recipes is to explore what we can make with our rarely used (and taking up precious storage space) Thermal cooker, and how conventional recipes need to be tweaked just a little to take into account that evaporation does not occur during thermal cooking, thus avoiding the end outcome of watery and tasting watered down food.

Hopefully these recipes will inspire you to dig out your own Thermal cooker from the deepest back-corner of your lowest and hardest to get to kitchen cupboard, and together we can explore what tasty dishes we can create together, while saving ourselves time, effort and electricity!

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