Thai Days: Crispy fried pork Street food


Hugh Paxton’s Blog loves the stuff. It’s crispy. It’s fried. And it’s pork.

Several ways of going about getting your hands on this delicacy.

One: You buy an expensive cook book called, for example, Bangkok Street Food. Your cook book has lots of very yummy pictures, the sort of pictures that make you feel like eating the cook book rather than reading its instructions. But you don’t. You buy it and then think “never go buying cook books when you are hungry!”

There’s a grim looking woman just outside the book shop with a mobile kitchen wreathed in steam and smoke and she is hurling fist-fulls of spices into flaring pans and veggies and ladling soup and dodging and ducking her head to avoid dangling ducks and large chunks of crispy fried pork. Street food. Bangkok style.

Probably not the real thing you say and you know you are wrong and race weeping for a taxi. En route home you flick through your book and are gently informed about the ingredients.

3 tbsp light soy sauce

1 pinch of salt

1 pinch of sugar

1 kg of pork belly

5 tbsp of salt

You wonder why one pinch of salt wasn’t enough. Why 5 tbsp more of it?

But you read on. You’ve bought the bloody book!

Lots of vinegar.

As you read the taxi swerves, hits a bump or two, but the driver’s in control

How to make it!

Aha! Here we are!

Mix soy sauce with a pinch of salt and sugar and marinate pork belly in refrigerator for two days.

Two days???? I’m hungry!

Remove from marinade and steam pork belly for 30 minutes until cooled. Then cool but do not refrigerate. Make lengthwise incisions but don’t pierce the meat. Generously rub it with salt etc.

Then leave it to dry for at least one night “preferably 48 hours”.

Then you have to fry it.

Option two: throw your cook book right the hell out of the window of your taxi tell him to take a U-turn, right back to the book shop and rush with open arms to the sour faced woman with her pans and her dangling ducks and oh yes! Her crispy fried pork! None of this 48 hours stuff, none of this marinade, there it is and then you give that grumpy old darling a huge smile, a bit of a tip too much, you get a huge smile back (and extra pork, with the special crispy bits), buy a take out for the taxi driver and home we go! Was a third of the price of my book. And saved me half a week of cooking anxiety.

Visitors to Thailand, I’d suggest option two! In Thailand let the Thais do the cooking! They know how!


One Response to “Thai Days: Crispy fried pork Street food”

  1. sandra Says:

    I LOVE Pork and might to a stint on a pig farm in the summer!!! Will tell you all about it.

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