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Thai Swimming Rama Recipe (Praram Long Song)

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This Thai swimming rama recipe is pretty easy to make, and you’ll love everything about it. From the creamy rama curry sauce to the juicy pork and the crisp morning glory, praram long song is downright delicious.

Thai swimming rama, praram long song, served with pork, jasmine rice, and morning glory on a traditonal bamboo mat.

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!

If you love nutty Thai flavors, you’ll want to try one of these classic Thai dishes next: Shrimp rolls with peanut sauce, nam jim tua, and Thai chicken satay with peanut sauce.

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. 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.

There are many theories about the origins of this classic Thai dish, but to me what matters most is how yummy it is!

Close-up of Thai pork with peanut sauce and swimming rama in the distance.

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 have its origin in Bangkok’s China Town?

Thai-Chinese fusion dishes are pretty common and always delicious! Here are some more of those tasty fusion dishes you’ll love: beef pad see ew, lad na, and khao moo dang.

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 Thai 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 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.

Top-view of pork swimming rama with jasmine rice and morning glory.

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 Thai swimming rama.

Then there’s the water spinach, drizzled in that creamy rama 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.

Ingredients

Ingredients can be sourced at Asian grocery stores and Asian markets.
The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the end of this post.


Ingredients for swimming rama labeled: salt, pork, coconut milk, water, red curry paste, tamarind paste, water spinach, palm sugar, fish sauce, crushed peanuts, and oil.
  • 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 – This is used for tenderizing the pork.
  • 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, available at Amazon. If you like Thai recipes with red curry paste, also try authentic Thai red curry recipe!
  • Roasted peanuts – The crushed peanuts add a creamy thickness and nutty flavor to the rama curry sauce. See my dry roasted peanuts recipe for instructions on roasting peanuts.
  • Coconut milk – The rich consistency of full-fat coconut milk ensures a creamy sauce. Make sure to use milk, not coconut cream.
  • Tamarind pasteTamarind paste is a staple in Thai cuisine, adding a tangy zest with subtle sour notes to our dishes.
  • Palm sugarPalm 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 in Thai, 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

Marinated pork on a banana leaf.

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.

Reduced coconut milk in a wok.

Step 2: In a wok or pan, reduce half of the coconut milk over medium heat until the coconut oil begins to separate.

Coconut milk stir-fried with red curry paste in a wok.

Step 3: Stir in the red curry paste and mix well until fragrant, and oil appears on the surface.

Peanut sauce cooking in a wok.

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.

Swimming rama sauce ready in a wok.

Step 5: Stir in crushed roasted peanuts and remove the peanut sauce from heat.

Water boiling in a wok pan.

Step 6: Fill a pot or large wok with water and add the tablespoon of oil. Bring to a boil over medium heat.

Blanching water spinach in a wok.

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.

Pork being boiled in a wok.

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.

Kitchenware for swimming rama recipe

  • 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 an extra touch of sweetness with extra palm sugar.

Vegetables: If you can’t find morning glory, which is the traditional vegetable for this swimming rama dish, feel free to substitute it with bok choy or spinach for rama spinach curry.

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 or opt for a vegetarian store-bought version.

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 extra flavor, Thai chili flakes for spice, and a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds finishes the dish.

Thai swimming rama, pra ram long song, with a drizzle of Thai chili paste.
Praram long song with a drizzle of homemade Thai chili paste.

Even though this is a filling meal on its own, I like to pair this with some other Thai food, like Thai cucumber salad for satay and som tum Thai (green papaya salad).

How to store Thai pra ram

Storing: Let your leftovers cool to room temperature and store them in an airtight container in the fridge. If possible, keep the rice, vegetables, 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 and store-bought red curry paste 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, you can 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 swimming rama 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

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Thai Swimming Rama Recipe (Praram Long Song)

Swimming rama, praram long song, drizzled with peanut sauce and a side of jasmine rice and steamed morning glory.
This authentic Thai swimming rama recipe makes a delicious pork with peanut sauce, or praram long song, that's perfect for the family.
Praew
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Cuisine Thai
Course Main Course
Serving Size 3 people

Ingredients

For marinating pork

  • 400 g pork (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1.5 tablespoon water

For peanut sauce

  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 1.5 tablespoon red curry paste (see notes)
  • 0.5 tablespoon tamarind paste
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1.5 tablespoon palm sugar
  • 1/3 cup crushed roasted peanuts

For cooking vegetables and pork

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 150 g morning glory (water spinach)

Optional

  • Thai chili paste (see notes)

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.

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