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

Categories Food
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
I help businesses get qualified leads and more sales via FB Ads and Messenger Chatbots. I'm also a photographer, blogger and writer based in Cebu, the Philippines.

A true blue Cebuano, I make stunning images and meaningful stories. My work has been published in various coffee table books as well as local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and has frequently done photo assignments for Mabuhay, an inflight magazine.

My personal Photography work has been exhibited around Asia and Europe including Paris in France, Germany, The Netherlands, South Korea, China and around the ASEAN regional capitals.

I am a peripatetic traveler and have been to all 81 Philippine provinces and abroad.

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