When I think about Pork Crackers, it never fails to make mouth water and it is a must buy whenever I visit the northern part of Thailand, especially to Chiang Mai province. Travelling between Bangkok and Chiang Mai by overnight train takes around 11-14 hours and the best snack to have on the way back is a massive bag of pork crackers with your favourite dipping sauce such as Nam Phrik Num or Nam Phrik Pao.
Kab (Thai:แคบ) is animal fat that has been rendered by frying until it’s crispy and crunchy. It is one of traditional way to preserve meat and add value to animal skins; cow, buffalo or pig. Pork skin is considered as a popular option to make Kab as it’s cheaper than others.
Pork Cracklers is known in others countries with different names such as Scrunchions in Canada, chicharrones in Mexico, Pork scratchings in United Kingdom, pork rinds or cracklings in the United States and Kab Moo (Thai:แคบหมู) in Thailand. This type of snack is made by rendering, roasting or frying the fat to make the pork skin crunchy and crispy. Each country has different styles and techniques on how to process the pork fat.
In Thailand, you will probably find at least 3 different types of Kab Moo, skin only, fat only and a mix of skin & fat. Each variety pairs well with different dishes.
For Northern Thais, it is an essential side dish of Khantoke which is a traditional Thai Lanna lunch or dinner, offered to guests for celebrating a number of occasions such as weddings, housewarmings, funerals or even annual festivals like Loy Krathong and Songkran (Jb & Renee Macatulad, 2020). For Lanna people, Kab moo is treated as a main meal rather than snacks.
In the past, when Lanna people had a party in a small village, they would kill pigs, cows or buffalos to prepare meals for their guests. Pork would be chopped in different parts for cooking in specific purpose. The left over part would be pork skin. Pork skin would be preserved by simmering and frying in order to keep it longer. The villagers have been using these methods to produce Kab Moo for a long time as these techniques always preserve the texture and taste of Kab Moo (Baan House, 2020)
There are different methods of cooking pork crackers. The process of making a delicious Kab Moo begins with choosing the right cut of pork skin. The thigh and belly are recommended and it should be from pigs aged around 3-6 month old.
Kab Moo is a must-have for your pantry which can be used as a main, side or as a snack to add that crunchy element. It is also promoted as a healthy snacks for the Keto diet. You can find pork crackers at most supermarkets, convenience stores and almost all Asian groceries. The hardest part is to choose your favourite brand! See you next time!!!
Parita Nobthai runs The Craft Humpy
"a homely place where you can get beautiful handcrafted gifts directly from the maker"
Don't miss out on her other posts!
My top six Thai breakfast dishes that you should not miss – Part 2/2 อาหารเช้าแบบไทยที่ไม่ควรพลาดชิม
My top six Thai breakfast dishes that you should not miss – Part 1/2 อาหารเช้าแบบไทยที่ไม่ควรพลาดชิม
The delightful flavour of coconut milk ice cream ไอศกรีมกะทิโบราณ
Miang Kam, a bite of goodness - traditional Thai medicinal snacks for flu and cold
ข้าวมันไก่, Thai-style Chicken Rice a simple-extraordinary dish that you should never miss!
Moo Krata, a joyful eating experience of Thais | หมูกระทะ อาหารรื่นเริงประจำชาติ ถูกใจทุกเพศทุกวัย
A short story of Thai noodle part 3/3
A short story of yummy Thai noodles – (Part 2 /3)
A short story of Thai noodles – (Part 1 /3)
Thai light meals – Original entrées from Thai street vendors
The secret of a Thai-condiment set (ชุดเครื่องพวง) and the four popular Thai dipping sauce (น้ำจิ้ม)
Cook-to-order: freshly-prepared Thai dishes created around what you want to eat
Two days of fun and joy at a Thai-Isaan traditional wedding ceremony in Ubon Ratchatani
Suphan Buri: One day of Eating in Suphan Buri, Thailand
Kao Chae – a refreshing, traditional Thai snack for the hottest month in Thailand
Thai BBQ Lemongrass Chicken - A Twist To Your Upcoming Barbecue
Cooking For A Crowd | Thai Green Curry
Phuang Malai: A Visual Symbol of Honouring, Love and Generosity of Thais
Loy Krathong, The Hidden Spirit of Thais
Saa Mulberry Paper - Paper That Lasts a Lifetime
is the Official Blog for Lion Brand Rice.
Fruit Shaped Mung Bean Dessert: Kanom Luk Chup (ขนมลูกชุบ)
Loy Krathong, The Hidden Spirit of Thais
Turmeric Chicken Skewer Recipe | Gai Yang Khamin
The Racist Origins of the Fear of MSG
Fasting but Fat: Thailand's Obese Monks