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Taste of Thailand – Searching for the Khao Moo Daeng secret

Restaurant in Silom Road Bangkok

Khao Moo Daeng is a classic Thai dish that is very popular throughout Thailand. Many of the local eateries that serve this dish have their own very unique recipes, a combination of the ingredients and method of preparation, which they tend to keep as a closely guarded secret.

Located on Silom Road this 52-year-old restaurant, called Chuan Savoey, is well known for the authentic Khao Moo Daeng that they serve daily. Over the years, the success of Chuan Savoey restaurant has been recognised with the Thai equivalent of a Michelin Star. If you would like to visit this restaurant it is advisable to visit during the off-peak hours as there is often a long queue of hungry locals patiently waiting. Be prepared to share your table with complete strangers. View on Map

Sadly, as you can see, during the filming of this video we did not discover the secret recipe for Khao Moo Daeng. However, following an extensive search and a lot of eating, we managed to find what we believe is an authentic recipe from a well-respected Thai chef.

Khao Moo Daeng

Rice topped with BBQ red pork and sauce


Khao Moo Daeng


This dish is just simply delicious. It is typically eaten as a quick one-plate meal for lunch but to be honest, it is perfect for any time of the day, even for breakfast!

“Khao” – means rice, “Moo” – means pork and “Daeng” – means red.

The BBQ red pork is obviously the most important part of a great and unforgettable Khao Moo Daeng. Not only does this provide the tasty Moo Daeng or red pork, the marinade used in its preparation forms the base for the sauce topping. The other main ingredients are crispy pork belly, Chinese sausage and a boiled egg that are all placed on top of the boiled rice which is then covered with the delicious sauce topping.

In most restaurants Khao Moo Daeng will be accompanied with a side dish of whole spring onions, coriander sprigs and sliced cucumber, and if you are really lucky a small bowl of refreshing clear soup.


Good to know

It’s easy to tell if a restaurant serves Khao Moo Daeng, just look out for the BBQ red pork hanging in the shop window. For the best Khao Moo Daeng look out for a restaurant with the longest queue of locals and join them. Don’t be afraid to add a few spoons of the condiment on your table, chopped green chilli in vinegar and dark soy sauce.


Taste of Thailand

The first taste of this dish will surely bring you back for more…

It is a balanced combination of sweet, salty, and sour with a hint of herbs and spices.

There are many textures; the pork belly and Chinese sausage remain a little crispy, which is a perfect contrast to the tender sliced BBQ red pork and soft rice.


When ordering

If you want a larger portion say “Khao Moo Daeng pises” – extra large portion of BBQ pork, rice and sauce, you will be charged extra

If you want something left out, like the crispy pork belly, say “Mai Sai Moo Grob” – don’t put pork belly


Ingredients for the BBQ red pork

  • 500g pork fillet
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 5cm cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar (see Tips below)
  • 6 tbsp hot water
  • 3 drops of red food colouring


Easy guide for the BBQ red pork

  • Heat the oil in a pan that is a suitable size for the pork fillet.
  • Fry the cinnamon and star anise until fragrant, remove the pan from the heat.
  • Add the garlic, salt, pepper, tomato paste, oyster sauce and soy sauce and mix well.
  • Dissolve the palm sugar in the hot water and add to the pan.
  • Add the red food colouring and mix well.
  • Add the pork fillet, coat with the marinade and turn occasionally.
  • Leave to marinade for 3-4 hours, preferably leave in the fridge overnight.
  • Heat the pan, add 1 cup of water, stir and bring to the boil.
  • Turn the pork occasionally to re-coat, reduce the heat when the sauce starts to thicken, simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the pork, roast in a pre-heated oven at 180oc for 15-20 minutes (see Tips below).
  • Important: Keep all the remaining sauce in the pan (see the Easy guide for the sauce below).



  • You can substitute regular sugar for the palm sugar.
  • If you have a BBQ fantastic, that’s the best way to cook the red pork.
  • The pork should be soft inside and not dry, leave to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.


Ingredients for the sauce

Serves: 2

  • Leftover sauce after making the BBQ red pork ( ¾ – 1 cup of sauce is required)
  • 2 tbsp rice flour
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 peeled boiled egg
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp Chinese rice wine
  • 1 tbsp crushed roasted peanuts
  • 1 tbsp ground roasted sesame seeds


Easy guide for the sauce

  • Bring back to the boil the sauce from the BBQ red pork.
  • Remove the cinnamon and star anise and reduce the heat.
  • Mix the flour and water together until smooth, add to the pan and mix well.
  • Add the peeled boiled egg and remove when it has taken on the colour of the sauce.
  • Add the sesame oil and Chinese rice wine and stir.
  • Remove from the heat; add the roasted peanuts and sesame seeds and stir.
  • Taste and if required add more soy sauce or palm sugar.


And finally for Khao Moo Daeng

  • Slice the BBQ red pork into thin slices and place on top of the boiled Jasmine rice.
  • If available add a few slices of fried Chinese sausage and some crispy roast pork belly.
  • Add half the boiled egg and cover the dish with plenty of the hot sauce.
  • Serve with whole spring onions, coriander leaves and sliced cucumber (all optional).



  • Any remaining BBQ pork can be safely frozen for later use.
  • Most Asian supermarkets sell Chinese sausage.

Khao Moo Daeng recipe download


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