Pork fried rice finds perfection, Pok Pok style

Khao Phat Muu (Thai fried rice with pork)

Khao Phat Muu (Thai fried rice with pork)

I’ve made a decent amount of fried rice in my life. On this blog alone, I’ve posted it three times — once made with farro, once with potato chips and again with pork and pineapple. And each time it’s delicious, but I’ve always felt like the seasoning wasn’t quite right. Often it would taste a bit flat and so I’d tinker with it — adding more and more things and then it would have too much soy or sesame or lime and yet somehow it would still lack “oomph.”

That all changed when I cooked my second recipe from the Pok Pok cookbook — Khao Phat Muu (fried rice with pork). Next to the fried egg salad, this is probably one of the easiest recipes in the book which brought it to the top of my “must make” list.  More encouragement came from a girl at work who kept telling me it was the best fried rice she had ever eaten.

And once I took a bite, I totally agreed. It was spot-on fried rice perfection and the best part was the amount of ingredients and fiddling is kept to a minimum. Simplicity is key — as is the great unbeatable umami flavor.

While I still think you should buy the book, I’ll give you a rundown on the basics of the recipe.

Start with day old cooked Jasmine rice, some porky bits (I actually used some slab bacon cut into small pieces), shallots, garlic and an egg. You’ll need some cilantro and green onions as garnish. The main seasoning agents are Thai fish sauce and Thai soy sauce, which is often referred to as thin soy sauce — it’s lighter in color and consistency than its Japanese brethren.

Thai Soy Sauce

Thai Soy Sauce

Cooking from the Pok Pok Cookbook

You won’t need all of these ingredients — I just think it’s such a pretty spread!

Start with the egg, and fry it over high heat much like I did in the fried egg salad. Once it’s crispy, move it to the far side of the wok. I was using a large sauté pan so I actually just removed the egg so that it didn’t overcook.

Next add your garlic and shallots, sauteeing them until fragrant, and then the pork. Depending on what kind of pork (or meat in general) you use, the cooking time will vary. The original recipe calls for boneless pork shoulder, sliced thinly, but Ricker says any protein will work — in fact he often makes this with crab meat which sounds pretty awesome. Since I used bacon, which is already cured, my cooking time was pretty short.

Next add the rice, breaking up the pieces, and then get the egg back into the mix.

Add your “dressing” of fish sauce, thin soy sauce and a bit of sugar and continue cooking until pork is done. Off the heat add in some sliced green onions.

Marvel at the goodness you’ve created!

Khao Phat Muu (Thai fried rice with pork)

Khao Phat Muu (Thai fried rice with pork)

Once it’s plated up, top with torn cilantro leaves and more sliced green onions.

Then dig in!

Khao Phat Muu (Thai fried rice with pork)

Khao Phat Muu (Thai fried rice with pork)

11 thoughts on “Pork fried rice finds perfection, Pok Pok style

  1. You’ve completely convinced me to get the Pok Pok cookbook. I’m used to Vietnamese fried rice, which has similar ingredients, but also has ketchup and diced carrots and peas. I’m looking forward to making it Pok Pok style!

    • You totally need this book! Seriously — I drool just looking at the pictures. And the stories are great too, lots of insight into his travels and the people who helped him understand the food in Thailand. Ketchup in fried rice…hm, that’s a new one to me — but if it’s delicious, I’d give it a try! And I actually love peas so much that tonight when I made the fried rice (for the 3rd time!) I added them in. I’m sure it’s not the Pok Pok way but I couldn’t resist. 😉

  2. that IS perfection 🙂 Have never had much success with friend rice–you’ve given me inspiration. Would buy the book even just for it’s cover. So much fun!

    • Buy the book and make this! It’s subtle in flavor but the beauty is in its simplicity. The herbs and the fish sauce and the egg really come together to make magic happen. I’ve actually made it three times now!

  3. Now it’s not just the cookbook that’s looking at me disapprovingly…you are making me feel really bad! This looks delicious. I’ve been a slave to the Thai fried rice recipe in one of the old Alford/Duguid cookbooks which has enough garlic and fish sauce to kill a horse (delicious!). Interesting that Ricker adds the egg at the beginning.

    • I also thought it was weird to add the egg at the beginning. Each time I’ve made it, I’ve actually removed it for a few steps just so it doesn’t over cook — I’m kind of obsessed with “just set” eggs. Once I get a wok (which needs to happen soon, hard to believe I don’t already have one!) I’ll try it as written to see how it compares. Maybe pushing it to the side works like a charm. Also think of it as gentle encouragement. I’ve still only made the easiest recipes in the book! Once I get started with the pork blood laap then you’ll have to step up. =)

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