Thailand Food Exploration: Kaeb Moo

An excellent (if slightly frivolous) reason to hop on the next plane to Chiang Mai is kaeb moo (deep-fried pork rind).

kaeb moo

I had read about this delicacy prior to a visit to Chiang Mai, and had even managed to sample some from a non-Northern Thai market. This only roused my ardour to seek out more, and so I was delighted to find a few adjacent stands at the Chiang Mai Gate Market.

There are two different types. One is just the skin, and this is much lighter and puffier. The long, curly strands are very crisp and airy, and have a mild pork flavour. A large bag is visible on the top left of the photo.

The second type is more heavy-duty, having the fat under the skin still attached. This is in larger dense chunks, and is much greasier and more tasty, but sits quite solidly on the stomach. This variety is more reminiscent of British pork scratchings, but with a much better flavour.

A green chilli paste can also be bought to smear on the rinds, but I prefer them plain.

On the day of our departure from Chiang Mai, our Thai host purchased 1kg of each type, plus 1kg of chilli paste to distribute as gifts and for our consumption. As I sat slumped on the sofa the next day, cramming my mouth with the lower-fat version, I must admit to prodding my belly with a heartfelt sigh, but it is just soooooo irresistible!

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