Want to bring the street food of Thailand to your kitchen? Then you must Indulge in the delightful Khao Moo Dang - a mouthwatering Chinese BBQ pork with rice. This famous dish guarantees a delectable feast that will whisk you away to the vibrant streets of Thailand, where food stalls on every corner serve this heavenly delight.
- What is Kao Moo Dang
- Chinese vs Thai Moo Dang (Red Pork)
- Why Try this Thai Red Pork Recipe
- Best Cuts of Pork for Moo Dang
- Ingredients for Making the Best Khao Moo Daeng Recipe
- How to Serve Your Khao Moo Dang
- Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Thai Red Pork with Rice
- Helpful Kitchen Tools
- Frequently Asked Questions
- More Thai Recipes You'll Love
- Kao Moo Dang (Chinese BBQ Red Pork)
- Related Recipes
What is Kao Moo Dang
Khao Moo Dang is a Thai style dish featuring succulent Chinese BBQ pork (Moo Dang) served over jasmine rice. The pork is marinated, perfectly cooked, and drizzled with a special red grave sauce, making it a popular street food choice.
Chinese vs Thai Moo Dang (Red Pork)
Char siu pork originated in China and is a popular dish in Cantonese cuisine. Chinese immigrants brought this delicious recipe adapted with Thai ingredients and flavors to Thailand.
I have made a few tweaks to the traditional Char Siu recipe for my Kao Moo Dang recipe. I am adding Thai influence by using cilantro stems, garlic, and white pepper in the marinade.
These three ingredients are essential in many Thai recipes and add a unique flavor to the dish.
Why Try this Thai Red Pork Recipe
- Thai street food is at its best! Khao Moo Dang is so readily available day and night throughout Thailand. Experience the flavor of Authentic Thai food in your very own kitchen!
- It's highly delicious and addictive! One bite, and you're hooked!
- A great recipe to make for a special dinner to serve friends and family. This recipe serves up to 6 people!
Best Cuts of Pork for Moo Dang
For the juiciest Kao Moo Dang, opt for pork shoulder or Boston butt. These cuts absorb flavors well and stay tender during cooking. Leaner meat like pork chops or loin could work, but they are not as succulent as the fattier meat.
Ingredients for Making the Best Khao Moo Daeng Recipe
Thai Khao Moo Dang consists of three delicious components.
- First, we have the marinating sauce that adds flavor to the pork, which is the star of this dish.
- Next, we have the gravy red sauce, the heart and soul of Khao Moo Dang.
- Lastly, we have a side sauce that adds an extra kick of flavor and spice.
Let's gather these amazing ingredients to create the ultimate Kao Moo Dang!
Part 1. For The Marinaded Ingredients
- Pork shoulder or Boston butt. Visit your butcher shop for a good cut of pork meat.
- Garlic. Garlic makes everything better. You want to mince the garlic finely for use in the marinating. More about fresh Thai herbs here.
- Cilantro stems. Cilantro stems are ideal if you can find them. But find the fattest and lowest stems you can find. Cilantro adds a very distinctive aroma and taste that's hard to match.
- Brown sugar. Palm sugar or brown sugar can be used.
- Chinese five-spice powder. Use my homemade easy 5 ingredients five spice powder for this recipe. The freshness and the depth of flavors will intensify your Kao Moo dang.
- Red fermented tofu + ½ tablespoon red liquid. This is where the dish gets its naturally red color from. But for an artificial red color, use food coloring.
- Hoison sauce. Hoisin adds a deep umami sweetness to the pork meat.
- Dark soy sauce. A touch of dark soy sauce will add a smoky caramelized taste to the pork.
- Light Soy Sauce. Use Thai light (thin) soy sauce to add salt to balance out the sauce's sweetness.
- Oyster sauce. The mother load of umami, don't skip it. (; More about Thai sauces here.
- Sesame oil. Sesame oil is popular in Chinese cuisine and adds nutty and toasty flavors.
- White pepper. White pepper adds a nice Thai spice flavor to the recipe. Be careful, as it gets hot quickly if used too much. More about Thai spices here.
- Rice wine vinegar. The tanginess adds a balance to the salty-sweet sauce. And it helps tenderize the pork meat for succulent, juicy bites.
- Water. Water is used to mix with tapioca flour to help dissolve it before combining it with the sauce.
- Tapioca starch or flour. Tapioca is the thickening agent that gives the Khao Moo Dang its gravy-like sauce.
- Red food coloring (optional). This is where the dish gets its red color from. Skip if you don't want to use it.
* An important note about the Khao Moo Dang sauce. It's important to save the extra marinade in the ziplock bag. If your sauce is a bit dry, add a tablespoon of water to help loosen it up.
This precious sauce will be used to make the main sauce for the Khao Moo Dang. So, make sure to keep it safe and ready for deliciousness!
1. Combine all the ingredients (Minus the pork together in a large bowl to make a marinade sauce for the pork.
2. Add the pork to the zip lock bag and pour the sauce into the bag with the meat. Gently massage the sauce and the pork together, making sure all the pieces are well coated with the red sauce. Refrigerate up to 48 hours. 2 Hours minimum.
3. Bake the pork at 375 for 1 hour, turning the pieces every 20 minutes to ensure all sides are cooked.
4. Rest the pork for 10-15 minutes. Thinly slice against the grain and portion the pieces for individual servings on a plate. This recipe serves 6.
Part 2. Ingredients for Making Moo Dang Sauce
- Leftover sauce from Khao Moo Dang marinade
- Stock. The bulk of the sauce comes from the stock. Use low to no salt stock.
- Soy sauce. For seasoning the sauce, adjust as needed at the end.
- Dark soy sauce. It adds a dark brownish color to the gravy.
- Sugar. Use Palm or brown sugar.
- Sesame seeds. For a nutty flavor.
1. Crush the sesame seeds into small pieces, but do not turn them into a paste. Set aside
2. In a small bowl, Combine water and tapioca starch and whisk well until the flour dissolves. Set aside.
3. On the stove top at medium heat, add the leftover marinating sauce and the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan. Stir well using a whisk.
4. Simmer until hot, then add the tapioca slurry. Whisk it one more up to stir up the flour that's sunk to the bottom. Pour into the red sauce and stir well.
5. Add the crushed sesame seeds and whisk again. Take a small taste test and adjust with more soy sauce or sugar until you have a thick and delicious sauce.
Adjust with more soy sauce or sugar until you are happy with it. Done!
3. For the Chili Sauce On the Side
- Red peppers like Thai chilis are good for added heat.
- Soy sauce
- Sesame seeds for sprinkling on top.
Instructions for the Chili Sauce:
Chop the red peppers into small pieces, combine everything together in a small bowl, and serve alongside a plate of your Kao Moo Dang.
How to Serve Your Khao Moo Dang
- Plate the dish with jasmine rice as the base, topped with thin slices of the juicy BBQ pork. Pour the red gravy sauce over the meat and rice.
- Add hard-boiled egg, one egg per serving. Slice them in halves and drizzle a little of the yummy gravy. Enjoy the extra protein!
- Add a generous amount of cucumber slices for this recipe. A standard garnish for many Thai dishes. It also helps wash your pallet for maximum flavors with each bite!
- Add a few slices of Chinese sausage if you have some. They add another layer of flavor and texture to the dish!
- Garnish your Khao Moo dang with sesame seeds and cilantro leaves.
Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Thai Red Pork with Rice
- Marinate the pork for at least 2 to 48 hours, if possible, for extra flavor and tenderness.
- Use a meat thermometer to make sure the pork is cooked thoroughly.
- Important note about the fermented bean curds. This is the same fermented bean curds (tofu) I used in my red pork Char Siu recipe. Find these at the Asian markets or on Amazon with this link. (Affiliate links).
- Look for them in a glass Jar. The tofu cubes are usually around 1x2 inch pieces fermented in a deep red liquid. The good stuff we want for Kao Moo Dang and Char Siu BBQ Red Pork recipes. See the image below for reference.
Helpful Kitchen Tools
- Store your leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
- It's best not to freeze the pork, as it can dry out the meat and take away all its delicious flavors and tenderness.
- Instead, get creative with your leftovers and try using them in fried rice, soups, curries, appetizers, or salads! Enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Khao Moo Dang in English is translated as "roasted pork with rice." Khao or Kao is rice, Moo is pork, and Dang is red. It is a popular Thai dish consisting of slices of tender, juicy roasted pork served over steamed rice.
While I haven't personally tried it, here's what I suggest. Instead of using pork, you can roast tofu and your favorite vegetables in the Moo Dang marinade. Then, prepare a delicious gravy sauce as per the steps in the recipe card. Pour the sauce over the roasted tofu and veggies.
It can not be called "Moo" (pork) anymore, but you can call it "Pak Dang"(Red vegetables). Give it a try, and let me know how it turns out!
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