Khao kha mu: Thai stewed pork leg
I’ve posted about Nong’s khao man gai (Thai chicken rice) before. When I saw Nong’s recipe for khao kha mu (Thai stewed pork leg) I wanted to try it. I’ve never cooked pork legs before and happened to be at the Asian market where pork legs are easy to find and incredibly cheap ($5-6 for >3 lbs). I’ve had khao kha mu from street stalls in Bangkok and one of the better Thai restaurants in San Francisco and thought it was time to try it for myself. I think many Asian cultures have their own version of stewed pork over rice: Vietnamese thit kho and Filipino adobo. The flavors are similar but nuanced to correspond with each culture. The Vietnamese version has fish sauce and caramel, the Filipino version is soy sauce and vinegar, and Nong’s recipe uses Coca Cola and oyster sauce. I also love the accoutrements: gai lan cooked briefly in the stewing liquid, pickled mustard greens, a stewed egg, and a spicy/sour/garlicky dipping sauce.
I have some leftover stewing liquid that I put in the freezer as a starter for the next batch. The next batch will probably only have half the amount of pork leg and the other half will be either pork belly or chunks of leaner pork shoulder. I can only eat so many jiggly cuts of pork before I start to feel a little sick. Because I like stewed eggs, I made 6 eggs but might up it to 8 next time. I also made a half-assed version of the spicy dipping sauce: vinegar, sambal oelek and some sugar to taste.