Stewed pork leg (khao kha mu)

Bangkok street eats: heavenly Khao kha moo (stewed pork leg on rice)

Khao kha mu literally means stewed pork leg on rice complete with hard boiled egg and boiled water spinach. This one costs THB40.

Khao kha moo literally means stewed pork leg on rice complete with hard boiled egg and boiled water spinach. This one costs THB40.

I was very much delighted. After the photoshoot at a condo within Sala Daeng in Bangkok, I hurried to the street diner that I passed an hour ago. Within a few minutes, I was seated, a smile on my face as I took a spoonful of the jasmine rice and pieces of stewed pork leg. Heavenly. The meat is so tender with melt in your mouth fat and skin. The pieces of crunchy boiled water spinach (kangkong) creating a slight bitter taste contrasting with the sweetish flavor of the meat.

Ah. What I like so much about Bangkok is the street food scene. It’s so varied and the kinds of food that are offered at the street is mindbogglingly huge. From desserts to meals, from fruits to juices. Name it and there should definitely something out there edible.

And stewed pork leg is one. Khao kha moo (sometimes spelled as khao kha mu), literally translates to stewed pork leg on rice (khao=rice). I can’t ever remember seeing the first three times I was in Bangkok but that was 15 years ago. Now, back in this vibrant city, I was just amazed.

Stewed pork leg in the Philippines is called patatim and kha moo is just similar. I think this dish was introduced by the chinese as one of the main ingredients in making this one is the five spice powder which includes the star anise that gives it flavor and aroma.

But while the Philippine version is expensive and available in Chinese restaurants, Bangkok’s kha moo is cheap and available almost anywhere. For THB30, you have jasmine rice topped with pieces of the stewed pork leg plus crunchy boiled water spinach. Add THB10 and you get the hardboiled egg. This, in a serving size good enough for one.

And as for me? I love it so much that it was my first proper meal when I arrived in Bangkok. Ate it at one of the stalls inside a mall and had it again for lunch on my last day in the city at a street side eatery despite the humidity. It’s really, really good!

A cheaper version at just THB30, minus boiled egg

A cheaper version at just THB30, minus boiled egg

Stewed pork leg piled on top at this vendor's display

Stewed pork leg piled on top at this vendor’s display

A khao kha mu vendor's cart filled with boiled eggs, boiled water spinach, mushrooms and the stewed pork leg

A khao kha mu vendor’s cart filled with boiled eggs, boiled water spinach, mushrooms and the stewed pork leg

Street dining scene in Bangkok

Street dining scene in Bangkok

A typical street dining strip

A typical street dining strip

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

4 Comments

  1. Estan Cabigas (@EstanCabigas)
    October 25, 2015 @ 0:22

    Bangkok street eats: heavenly Khao kha moo (stewed pork leg on rice): Khao kha mu literally means stewed pork … https://t.co/GuO0bwP0Ok

  2. @ThailandVandaag
    October 25, 2015 @ 18:48

    Bangkok street eats: heavenly Khao kha moo (stewed pork leg on rice) – langyaw https://t.co/DoHWeYCZ8u

  3. Estan, Ang Langyaw (@LangyawMedia)
    October 26, 2015 @ 19:29

    Delicious. Cheap. Filling. And that’s what makes Bangkok a great food destination!

    https://t.co/fsZcUvkD9L https://t.co/KScKfuOdLY

  4. Estan Cabigas (@EstanCabigas)
    October 26, 2015 @ 19:29

    Delicious. Cheap. Filling. And that’s what makes Bangkok a great food destination!

    https://t.co/1X6E4fhuxS https://t.co/uOiMe1txGO

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