Thai Ground (Minced) Beef or Pork Curry

With the perfect amount of heat, some hint of sweetness, and lots of savory deliciousness, this Thai Ground Beef or Pork Curry is deliciously comforting! It’s easy to make so it’s perfect for weeknight dinners!

Both hubby and I enjoy spicy foods so I often make a curry-type dish at home at least once a week. When it comes to curry, Mark is partial to Indian-style curry while I, on the other hand, prefer a more Southeast Asian type of curry.

But, as long as the food has the right amount of heat and has the complexity of flavors we always look for in a spicy dish then we are both happy to eat it all up!

This Thai Ground (Minced) Beef or Pork Curry is certainly that kind of dish! It’s a flavor explosion in your mouth.

I previously made a ground beef Indian-style curry in this blog called Keema Beef Curry which we both enjoyed. When we fancied another minced beef curry I thought, for a change, to make a Thai version instead. After all, I always have the complete Asian seasonings at hand (fish sauce, limes, tamarind, etc) so it made sense.

Or perhaps, I was just missing eating some yummy southeast Asian food having just recently returned from the Philippines. Whatever the reason I may have had a couple of weeks ago when I first made this, I am just happy it turned out good and even my spicy-food aversed kids seemed to enjoy it.

What I love about this dish is the delicious layering of flavors so each bite you taste hints of sweetness, a spicy kick (it’s curry after all!), slight tang from the tamarind (or lime) and saltiness from the fish sauce! Oh so good! Enjoy!

Thai Ground Beef or Pork Curry

With the perfect amount of heat, some hint of sweetness, and lots of savory deliciousness, this Thai Ground Beef or Pork Curry is deliciously comforting! It's easy to make so it's perfect for weeknight dinners!
4.84 from 12 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Southeast Asia, Thailand


  • 2 red Thai chilis (or finger chilis), seeded
  • 1 medium onion or large shallot
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled
  • 4 cilantro roots or stems, or about 2 tablespoons, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons shrimp paste (optional but adds depth of flavor)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 pound ground beef or pork
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tamarind concentrate (or 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped


  • Using a mortar and pestle or a food processor, process the chilis, onion or shallot, garlic, ginger, and cilantro roots or stems, to a paste. Add the shrimp paste to the spice paste, if using. Set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet to medium. Add the spice paste and cook for about 5 minutes or until the paste begins to release its oil and has darkened in color. (If you use the mortar and pestle, oil bubbles would be more likely to be released than if using a food processor.) Add the ground meat, increase the heat and cook for 5 minutes. Season the meat with fish sauce.
  • Add the water and crushed tomatoes and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes or until the liquid has reduced and the meat is fully tender.
  • Season with the tamarind concentrate or lime juice and sugar and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed – you should taste hints sweetness, saltiness, slight tartness and, of course, some spicy kick. The aim is to balance these flavors. Turn off the heat and stir in the fresh cilantro leaves. Serve on top of rice or noodles!


For more flavor, use the mortar and pestle to make the paste – worth the elbow grease because by grinding the spice through pounding, it releases the oils and flavors from the spices.
Keyword ground beef curry, minced meat curry, Thai ground beef curry, Thai minced pork curry
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Last updated on May 13th, 2024 at 05:32 pm



  1. Jessica
    April 24, 2020 / 1:43 pm

    5 stars
    My husband randomly asked me to make more curry and this was on my Pinterest board. Loved it and will make it again! We used beef.

  2. Marlynn
    April 24, 2020 / 2:03 pm

    5 stars
    We had some ground pork to use up in our fridge, and this recipe was a perfect way to use it up! So flavorful!

  3. Alison @foodbymars
    April 24, 2020 / 2:27 pm

    5 stars
    Oooh! love that you incorporated fish sauce into the recipe, I love a good ground meat recipe, definitely making this!

  4. Jen
    April 24, 2020 / 2:36 pm

    5 stars
    Manila Spoon always has the best recipes! Love this with ground pork- which is great because I never know what to do with it!

  5. Suzy
    April 24, 2020 / 2:51 pm

    5 stars
    I love how easy it is to make take out foods at home! Love the kick from the Thai chilis!

  6. Alice | SkinnySpatula
    April 24, 2020 / 3:24 pm

    5 stars
    Such a great idea. I never had a curry with mince tbh, but it looks delish.

  7. Krissy Allori
    April 24, 2020 / 4:04 pm

    5 stars
    This looks so good. I have been wanting to make more curry. This looks perfect to try. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Diane N
    June 22, 2022 / 6:21 pm

    Could a Thai red curry paste be used in this recipe? If so how much? TY

    • abigail
      June 24, 2022 / 7:42 pm

      Yes and you can adjust the amount to the level of spiciness you like. Begin with a small amount (this depends on how spicy your curry paste is to begin with and it is different with each brand so I cannot tell you how much). Just taste as you go until you like it.

4.84 from 12 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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