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This Thai swimming rama recipe is pretty easy to make, and you’ll love everything about it. From the creamy sauce to the juicy pork and the crisp morning glory, praram long song is downright delicious.
This pork with peanut sauce comes together without too much fuss and is perfect for every home cook, it’s a total-crowd pleaser and can be made with chicken and even vegetarian!
What is swimming rama
Swimming rama is a traditional Thai dish featuring water spinach leaves topped with pork or chicken, all generously drenched in a rich, creamy peanut sauce. It’s also known as swimming angel, and in Thailand it’s called “praram long song”.
Praram long song history
Praram long song is a true classic, falling under the ‘boraan’ category, which means it’s an ancient dish. Its origin takes us all the way back to the era of King Rama 5. It’s even named after the God Rama or King Rama from The Ramakien.
I read about the legend behind the name swimming rama on a Thai forum. It suggests that the green color of morning glory resembles the skin of the Thai Rama God. Boiling the morning glory is said to resemble the Thai Rama God taking a hot bath. I’m not entirely sure if it’s true, but I thought it’s worth sharing with you.
What’s funny is that praram long song, also written as pra ram long song, was actually brought into Thailand by Chinese immigrants in Bangkok. And did you know that many Thai street food dishes actually have its origin in Bangkok’s China Town?
Now, I won’t delve into the history too much. We’re all here for the pork and peanut sauce, right?
Thai pork with peanut sauce
What I love most about this swimming rama recipe might just be everything. The irresistible peanut sauce, the perfectly tenderized pork, the fresh bite of water spinach, all sitting atop a bed of steamy rice… this dish is just perfect.
We start this recipe by tenderizing the pork, ensuring each piece is soft, juicy, and downright irresistible. It’s a simple step, but it makes all the difference.
The peanut sauce is a masterpiece that’s made with red curry paste and rich coconut milk. It’s creamy, it’s dreamy, and it’s versatile enough to drizzle over just about anything. Seriously, this sauce pairs perfectly with the pork, but you can drizzle it over noodles, sweet potatoes, and even this Thai vegetables stir-fry.
In Thailand, pork is the traditional protein choice. In Thai restaurants in the West and the U.S., you’re more likely to have it with chicken. Both are great, but we’re all about authenticity here, and the fat content in pork really adds to the flavor of swimming rama.
Then there’s the water spinach, drizzled in that creamy sauce. It adds a refreshing flavor and crisp contrast that perfectly balances everything.
And don’t forget a side of steamed jasmine rice. It soaks up all that glorious peanut sauce, and you’ll want to savor every drop of it.
For the exact measurements, please scroll down to the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Pork – The best cuts are those that balance tenderness with flavor. Pork shoulder, pork butt, pork tenderloin, and pork loin all work well. Slice thinly.
- White sugar
- Water – In the marinating process, water and white sugar tenderize the pork. The sugar and water combination ensures the pork becomes tender and retains moisture during cooking.
- Red curry paste – You can use my recipe for homemade Thai red curry paste or opt for good quality store-bought versions like Mae Ploy and Maesri. If you like Thai recipes with red curry paste, also try this authentic Thai red curry recipe!
- Roasted peanuts – The crushed peanuts add a creamy thickness and nutty flavor to the coconut curry sauce.
- Coconut milk – The rich consistency of full-fat coconut milk ensures a creamy sauce. Make sure to use milk, not coconut cream. You can source this and all others ingredients at Asian grocery stores and Asian markets.
- Tamarind paste – Tamarind paste is a staple in Thai cuisine, adding a tangy zest with subtle sour notes to our dishes.
- Palm sugar – Palm sugar brings a distinct, caramel-like sweetness to the sauce. Unlike white and brown sugar, palm sugar offers a more rounded sweetness without overpowering the overall flavors.
- Fish sauce – Fish sauce is the heart of Thai cooking. It adds umami and depth to the sauce with its salty, savory notes. Megachef fish sauce is a good brand that’s not overly salty.
- Oil – Use a neutral oil with high smoke point, like canola oil, sesame oil, or vegetable oil.
- Morning glory – Morning glory, or pak bung, brings a fresh, crisp texture. It adds a yummy crunch and soaks up all that delicious peanut sauce while still retaining its crispiness. Make sure to buy some extra and try pad pak boong, a quick and easy morning glory stir-fry, later!
How to make rama curry
Step 1: In a mixing bowl, combine thinly sliced pork with water and white sugar. Knead the mixture until the pork has absorbed all the water. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Step 2: In a wok or pan, reduce half of the coconut milk over medium heat until the coconut oil begins to separate.
Step 3: Stir in the red curry paste and mix well until fragrant, and oil appears on the surface.
Step 4: Add the remaining coconut milk and bring to a boil. Then, add palm sugar, tamarind paste, and fish sauce. Switch to low-medium heat and let the curry simmer for 5 minutes, stirring regularly to allow the sauce to thicken.
Step 5: Stir in crushed roasted peanuts and remove the peanut sauce from heat.
Step 6: Fill a pot or large wok with water and add the tablespoon of oil. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
Step 7: Cook the water spinach for about a minute until it is cooked but still crisp. Remove from the water and set aside on paper towels to drain.
Step 8: In the same boiling water, cook your marinated pork until fully cooked, about one to two minutes, depending on the thickness of your slices. Remove from the water and transfer to paper towels to drain any excess water.
Step 9: To assemble, portion out steamed rice (if desired), add the water spinach, top with the cooked pork, and drizzle with the peanut sauce.
- Large skillet or wok with stirring spoon or spatula
- Mixing bowl for marinating the pork
- Sharp knife and cutting board
- Pot for boiling morning glory
- Measuring spoons and cups
- Colander and paper towels
Praram long song recipe customization
Balance the flavors: Feel free to make the flavors right just for you. You can adjust the heat by varying the amount of red curry paste, or add a touch of sweetness with extra palm sugar.
Peanut sauce: The sauce’s thickness can be altered by using cornstarch to thicken it, but I think there’s no need.
Vegetables: If you can’t find morning glory, which is the traditional vegetable for swimming rama, feel free to substitute it with spinach or bok choy.
Proteins: Traditionally made with pork, this Thai dish with peanut sauce can be easily be turned into a chicken rama (chicken breast or thighs), beef, or with tofu and mushrooms for a vegetarian version. For a vegetarian dish, make sure to omit the shrimp paste in my red curry paste.
How to serve Thai rama pork
Start with a bed of jasmine rice and add your steamed greens. Place the tenderized pork over the rice. Generously ladle the peanut sauce over the pork and rice. Feel free to add a sprinkle of crushed roasted peanuts, freshly chopped green onions or cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice. Add a drizzle of Thai chili paste for spice and a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds finishes the dish.
How to store Thai pra ram
Let your leftovers cool to room temperature and store them in an airtight container in the fridge. If possible, keep rice, greens, pork, and peanut sauce separate. The pork and greens stay good for 3 days and the peanut sauce keeps for several days – great for meal prep!
Reheating: Warm the pork in a pan over medium heat until hot. Sprinkle a bit of water on top of the rice and microwave, covered, for about a minute or until hot. Reheat the swimming rama sauce in a small pot over low heat. Reheat the veggies in a pan over low heat until just warm to keep them crisp.
Frequently asked questions
Is this recipe gluten-free?
Yes, this recipe is gluten-free if you avoid adding soy sauce and ensure your fish sauce is gluten-free.
Is swimming rama healthy?
Swimming rama can be healthy if eaten in moderation. It offers a good balance of protein, vegetables, and healthy fats from the peanut sauce. Opt for lean pork or chicken and control the sauce’s sugar content to keep it healthier. Note that this dish has a high fat content.
Can I make this dish vegetarian?
Yes, easily make it vegetarian by substituting pork with tofu or tempeh and using a vegetarian fish sauce alternative.
Is swimming rama sauce spicy?
The spice level of the sauce is mild to moderate and can easily be adjusted. Use less red curry paste for a milder sauce, or add more for extra heat.
Authentic Thai pork recipes
- Pad kana moo krob (Chinese broccoli with crispy pork belly)
- Pad kra pao (authentic Thai basil pork)
- Nam tok moo (Thai grilled pork salad)
- Ba mee moo dang
- Khao pad krapow
- Moo yang
Thai Swimming Rama Recipe (Praram Long Song)
Authentic Thai swimming rama recipe for delicious pork with peanut sauce.
For marinating pork
For peanut sauce
For cooking vegetables and pork
In a mixing bowl, combine thinly sliced pork with water and white sugar. Knead the mixture until the pork has absorbed all the water. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
In a wok or pan, reduce half of the coconut milk over medium heat until the coconut oil begins to separate.
Stir in the red curry paste and mix well until fragrant, and oil appears on the surface.
Add the remaining coconut milk and bring to a boil. Then, add palm sugar, tamarind paste, and fish sauce. Switch to low-medium heat and let the curry simmer for 5 minutes, stirring regularly to allow the sauce to thicken.
Stir in crushed roasted peanuts and remove the peanut sauce from heat.
Fill a pot or large wok with water and add the tablespoon of oil. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
Cook the water spinach for about a minute until it is cooked but still crisp. Remove from the water and set aside on paper towels to drain.
In the same boiling water, cook your marinated pork until fully cooked, about one to two minutes, depending on the thickness of your slices. Remove from the water and transfer to paper towels to drain any excess water.
To assemble, portion out steamed rice (if desired), add the water spinach, top with the cooked pork, and drizzle with the peanut sauce.
- Amount Per Serving
- Calories 628kcal
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat 46.32g72%
- Saturated Fat 31.58g158%
- Total Carbohydrate 17.04g6%
- Dietary Fiber 5.5g22%
- Sugars 10.21g
- Protein 40.85g82%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
- Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
- Red curry paste: You can use my recipe for homemade Thai red curry paste or opt for good quality store-bought versions like Mae Ploy and Maesri.
- Thai chili paste: Add a drizzle of Thai chili paste for spice. (optional)
- Pork: The best cuts are those that balance tenderness with flavor. Pork shoulder, pork butt, pork tenderloin, and pork loin all work well. Slice thinly.