In my unending craving to have this a week after my trip, I decided to make my own version of Khao Ka Moo at home. I decided to make one with the sauces and stuff I already had at home so all I had to worry about were the pork trotters. I went to a nearby chinese deli here in Wilson street called “Wei Wang”. It’s been a favorite since I was young since their store has been here since I was very little. I always wondered what those odd smelling veggies were in their tupperwares…it was pickled radish! I only went for half a kilo since I wasn’t sure if they included that odd juice with the weigh in…it turns out, they don’t.
The next thing I needed were pork trotters. I got some a few steps away in this newly opened butcher called Fresh Options, also in Wilson street. I got a few pieces of the already cut up pork trotters to make it easier. And then I headed home to pressure cook them. It took about 30 minutes…I wish I did 40, so it would’ve been the fall-off the bone type.
I did a hard boil of 2 eggs and then peeled them.
Next was transferring both the trotters and the stock to another pot, adding soy sauce, sliced onions, oyster sauce, fish sauce, brown or palm sugar, cinnamon, a vietnamese nutmeg, star anise, five spice powder, peppercorns and a little rice wine and anisette over medium heat. I let this boil until the pork trotters absorb the color. I also check the tenderness regularly using a fork.
Then I put in the coriander roots for extra flavor. It took about 2-2.5 hours of slowly boiling the mixture. After, I quickly put in my boiled eggs in until they were slightly brown as well, and then I removed them.
For the sauce: I decided to make this sauce from hell from what was available at home. I started out with some rice wine vinegar, brown sugar and some fish sauce. And then I added a puree of roasted Vietnamese chilis which I put in, as well as the usual chili garlic sauce of Lee Kum Kee, I also put lots and lots of korean chili flakes and everything that is made of pure chili that I could find. I mixed it all together to get that lovely sour and slightly sweet, flavor…that’s roaring with heat.
For the pickled mustard, I washed it, soaked it in water for 15 minutes, washed it, and did this 3 times. I chopped it up to little bits and I quickly sauteed this in a little oil just to be sure.
When the pork trotters were tender and the soup was seasoned well, I finished it with just a bit of an AA powder slurry so that it could get a little thickness in the sauce.
The ending? Almost being transported back to Pratunam market, minus the sound of Thai people talking. The sauce cut the richness of the dish and at the same time provided a really good way to open up your taste buds to the various spices used in the braising liquid. The pork trotters were still not as “fall off the bone” type, next time I’ll start cooking earlier so I don’t have to worry about rushing because I’m already hungry.