Dried meat has different associations for me.
There’s the stereotypical Wild West gold-prospector angle (gnarled, weather-beaten men with beards gnawing on leathery strips of beef). There’s the time H and I tried to make our own biltong in a home-made drying box (it turned out more like crumbly meat biscuits). Finally, there’s a painful memory of buying lots of delicious salmon jerky in a Canadian airport, only to have to throw it all away when we reached UK customs.
Thailand has some particularly tasty variants of dried meat. Pork (moo) is very common, as is beef (neua). Out of deference to our Thai host (who steered clear of beef) we focused on pork, but this was no hardship!
Moo dad deow is dried and fried pork. It can come in various cuts, but apparently all fall under the dad deow umbrella.
In the top photo you can see some delectable small thick pieces, sprinkled with sesame seeds. This was chewy but still quite tender, with a beautiful rich meaty flavour.
We also tried a much thinner, sweeter variety (pictured below). This was very hard, sticky and a real work-out for the jaw (I don’t think keeping it in the fridge helped!). However it was also very moreish, and I found myself absent-mindedly wrestling my way through quite a lot of it before grinding to a halt.
Moo dad deow is common in markets and restaurants, but I’d advise undertaking some jaw warm-up exercises before tucking in.