Streets of Bangkok
Besides my mom's dishes, street foods are one of my most favourite things in Bangkok. They are cheap and cheerful.
I am particularly nostalgic of Bangkok street foods. The whole experience of sitting on the flimsy aluminium stools while the vendors are shouting out orders in a hot summer night can't be replicated anywhere. The sound of the traffic also makes the dish tastier somehow. Sukhumwit 38 is one of my favourite late night eateries, where you can get tasty noodles to absorb the far-too-many drinks in the system.
I usually don't try to attempt street food at home, it's called street food for a reason. But my stomach has been yelling for 'Kao Moo Dang' (BBQ roasted pork rice) for a week now. The only sound solution was to put this misery to a stop.
This is a tricky project. Kao Moo Dang is not like any BBQ pork rice you may find at a Chinese restaurant. It usually comes with a pork trifecta - Chinese pork sausage, crispy pork, and roasted pork. It is always served with thick, slightly sweet sauce, cucumber and winter melon soup. If you are lucky, you'll get half a boiled egg on the side.
In my opinion, the following elements constitute authentic street Kao Moo Dang. The roasted pork must be cut very thin. Ditto for the cucumber. The rice can not be cooked to perfection. The winter melon in the soup must be translucent with a distinct taste of white pepper. The boiled egg must be half-cooked.
The imperfection of the dish is what makes the eating experience perfect.
With all of these in mind, I called over a trusted and equally hungry friend, P'Tangmo, for help. We took a shortcut and bought the crispy pork and Chinese sausage (making those is a post in and of itself). For the BBQ pork, we strongly recommend this recipe. We winged it on the sauce and the soup. For the sauce, we used the left over BBQ pork marinate sauce and simmered it with a teaspoon of corn starch to achieve a thick consistency. The soup was made of 2 cups of chicken broth, winter melon, white pepper, a tablespoon of soy sauce and cilantro roots, simmered together until the melon turns translucent.
Deliciously authentic. We could almost hear the Tuk Tuk sound as we took the first bite :)