Thai cuisine is traditionally healthy but it does have its fatty and sinfully delicious dishes. Take Khao Kha Moo — rice with long-stewed pork leg. The closest comparison I can offer is the pulled-pork dishes of the south and mid-west USA because of the similar tender, fall-off-the-bone texture and the succulent sauce that penetrates the pork meat.
I recently had a taxi driver take me to try his favorite version of the dish, served at shop called Kha Moo Lert Roat (Super Tasty Pork Leg). It was well worth the visit. The Kha Moo is stewed in palo (Chinese spice) soup to infuse aroma and taste. On occasion I’ve found palo soup to be too sweet or too salty and sometimes the pork texture simply isn’t soft enough to absorb the juice; but here there is a great harmony in the salty-sweet taste of the soup and the just-right texture.
There are various ways to order Khao Kha Moo; you can have just the meat, or meat and skin (which also means fat), or with Khaki – stewed pig’s feet – which is my favorite! My taxi driver ordered his ‘piset’ (special), which included a hard-boiled egg and sai (intestines). The sai is the killer here because it’s so soft and seems to melt in your mouth. The rice texture verges on the edge of al dente – not too hard and not to mushy.
Dabbing a little chilli vinegar and a slice of garlic on each bite will enhance the taste experience even more. Garlic helps to lower your cholesterol (so at least you don’t feel so guilty) and the vinegar helps to cut some of the fatty taste.
To have a satisfying plate of Khao Kha Moo, for me, is all about good teamwork. Nothing must go wrong in the preparation and time is needed to create the relationship between ingredients.
Kha Moo Lert Roat
Sathon Soi 11 | opens until 3pm.