Moo Krata… is influenced from both Korean BBQ and Chinese hotpot and why it was once called Korean BBQ Pork. However, this type of food has evolved and has gone above and beyond just barbecue pork. It is also associated with the feeling of getting together, friendship, happy times and joyful activities that reflect the Thai way of life – Parita Nobthai of @thecrafthumpy
Moo Krata (Thai : หมูกระทะ) has become a popular eating culture that has spread widely across Thailand through its many restaurants and home-delivery menus. Moo (Thai: หมู) means pork and Krata (Thai : กระทะ) means pan, Moo Krata is the process of cooking pork on the hot pan. The dish is influenced from both Korean BBQ and Chinese hotpot and it is why Moo Krata was once called Korean BBQ Pork (Thai: หมูย่างเกาหลี). However, this type of food has evolved and has gone above and beyond just barbecue pork. It is also associated with the feeling of getting together, friendship, happy times and joyful activities that reflect the Thai way of life.
Krata (Thai: กระทะ) or pan is designed especially for this type of cooking, traditionally heated by charcoal with a raised dome for BBQ and a curved edge for soup hotpot. Thai Moo Krata pan usually made from aluminium with several vertical holes on the dome, this circular-shape pan is around 30 – 40 cm in diameter. The more expensive option made from brass with groove texture on the dome instead of the vertical holes. It is better quality, easier to maintain and durable.
Moo Krata restaurant commonly offers a buffet style experience with a variety of food that is suitable for any age group. The price is affordable, some place start at only 59 Baht and go up to 1000 bath depending on quality of ingredients, variety of food and atmosphere. Most places includes non-alcoholic drinks and dessert in the buffet price so you don’t need to pay anything extra. However, most of Moo Krata places have a few common restrictions applied such as limitation of serving hours, extra cost for an additional stove or a leftovers fee.
Moo Krata buffet offers different styles of freshly marinated meat; pork, beef, chicken, offal, fish, meat balls and seafood. Fresh vegetables normally serve are cabbage, water spinach, celery, basil, wombok, carrot and mushrooms plus a selection of noodle such as bean vermicelli, instant noodle, egg noodle or green noodle. There are sauce stations where you can mix sauces to your taste. Nowadays, Moo Krata has turned into an international buffet with finger foods, sushi, Dim Sims, salads, fried rice and stir-fries and a few kiosks offering cook-to-order dishes like Carbonara, Tomyum or baked prawns. With the large variety of food, Moo Krata buffet is not just about BBQ meats.
When I was in Thailand, we preferred to have Moo Krata delivery so we can relax at home. We don’t have to prepare food or clean up afterwards as the service includes dropping off and picking up all ingredients and equipment. There is no proper way to eat Moo Krata, it totally depends on how you like the food to be cooked. You start by adding pork fat on top of the dome to get the oil around the pan, add the soup, wait until its boiling and start to add some vegetable, noodles and crack some egg into the soup. All marinated meat is better to fry by laying them on the dome. Because everyone will sit together around the pan, each will have chopsticks to pick the food and short spoon to scoop the soup. There are two typical sauces provided which are suki sauce and seafood sauce. It’s always a joyful moment to have it with family and relatives, everyone being a chef, cooking their own food and sometimes cooking for others.
Moo Krata is a fascinating eating experience that allows people to enjoy cooking and eating together. It is a simple meal with a joint effort of cooking together in a single pan. That’s why a simple dish like Moo Krata has easily become a popular way to eat.