Slow-braised pork hock in soy & coconut juice

Slow-braised pork hock in soy & coconut juice

Khao kha moo

Street Food Asia
4–6 As part o f a shared me al
Alan Benson

No visit I’ve ever made to Bangkok has been complete without a trip to Sukhumvit Soi 38. This is one of the oldest and most iconic street food destinations in Bangkok but unhappily it’s disappearing – when I stopped by recently, I was upset to see that many of the vendors had already moved to make way for a new development. By February 2017 the whole block will be gone and that will be the end of a street-eating era. Thankfully though, my favourite vendor from here has only moved to Soi 42, not so far away. He cooks pork hock, slow braised in soy, coconut juice, cassia, star anise and other aromatics. I love this dish! The hock cooks until it falls off the bone, by which time the skin is silky soft and gelatinous and the meat, fall-apart tender. There’s so much flavour swimming about in the cooking liquor you just need some steamed gai lan and rice to go with the pork and you’ve got a terrific meal.


Quantity Ingredient
2 x 1kg pork hocks
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
4 coriander roots, scraped clean and chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
10 white peppercorns, crushed
6cm piece of fresh ginger, sliced
2 black cardamom pods (see glossary), bruised
3 star anise
5cm piece of cassia bark
1 tablespoon liquid palm sugar (see glossary) or shaved dark palm sugar (jaggery)
4 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
500ml see method for ingredients
1 litre young coconut juice, (see glossary)
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved
1 handful coriander leaves, to garnish

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
200g gai lan (chinese broccoli), sliced into 3 cm lengths and blanched
steamed jasmine rice
Salt-baked chicken in a wok, Soy & chilli dipping sauce


  1. Place the hocks in a saucepan with enough cold salted water to cover. Bring to the boil and cook for 3 minutes, skimming off any impurities. Drain, wash under cold water, then drain again and pat dry.
  2. Half-fill a wok or large saucepan with vegetable oil and heat to 180°C, or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil browns in 15 seconds. Add the hocks and cook for 3 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned. The oil can spit violently, so cover the wok with a splatter guard if the oil spits too much. Remove the hocks and drain.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the deep-frying oil in a saucepan. Stir-fry the coriander roots, garlic, peppercorns and ginger over a medium–high heat until fragrant. Add the cardamom, star anise and cassia and fry for a further minute.
  4. Add the sugar, soy sauces, stock and coconut juice. Bring to the boil. Add the hocks, and a little water if needed to cover them. Bring back to the boil and skim off any impurities. Reduce the heat, cover slightly with a lid, then simmer for 3½–4 hours, or until the meat begins to fall off the bone.
  5. Take the pan off the heat. Transfer the hocks to a shallow serving bowl, add the halved eggs, then pour over the cooking liquor. Garnish with coriander and serve with gai lan, steamed jasmine rice, and a soy and chilli dipping sauce.
South-East Asian
Street Food
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