A blog about food in Thailand
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Jib Kee/จิ๊บกี่

Posted date:  September 19, 2011
3 Comments


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The area around Bangkok’s Nang Loeng Market is home to lots of old-school restaurants that are ripe for investigation.

One of the oldest-school looking ones is Jib Kee, a restaurant that, for more than 50 years, has specialised in meaty Chinese-Thai dishes such as roast pork and duck:

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On my first visit I tried their muu krob (หมูกรอบ; shown at the top of this post), roast pork belly, and immediately suspected that it might be one of the best I’ve encountered in Bangkok. The skin is crispy, without being too much so; the fatty bits literally melt away in your mouth; and amazingly, the meat is moist, tender and even perhaps a bit rare – surely an indicator of restraint and skill on their part. The dish is served with a dipping sauce that combines sliced chillies, dark soy and I think, a bit of vinegar.

The remainder of the restaurant’s dishes revolve around duck, and include a decent pet tun (เป็ดตุ๋น), a slightly peppery broth of duck:

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roast duck (เป็ดย่าง):

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served over bitter greens in a light five spice-based sauce; and duck intestines (ใส้แก้ว):

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the latter with little or no flavour of their own, but with a crunchy texture, and served in a slightly salty sauce that included fermented soybeans.

The duck dishes are probably above average, and I suspect they’re what attract the high-ranking military generals who frequent the place every time I’ve been there (a sure-fire sign of a good restaurant in Thailand), but it’s the pork belly that would draw me back here.

Here’s a video from the Thai television programme, Aroy Rim Thaang (“Delicious Street Food”) about Jib Kee:

Jib Kee
Th Nakhon Sawan, Bangkok
02 281 1283
9am-3pm


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3 Comments for Jib Kee/จิ๊บกี่


Austin,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxF99IPa1_0&NR=1

Does this video [parts 1&2] suggest that the best way to make that crisp roast pork is by frying and not dry roasting? I don’t understand Thai, and this professional goes through an elaborate demonstration to prove why the former is correct!!

This method specifically deals with the “rare” /underdone quality & “control” that you mentioned while getting the characteristic skin and the fat melting away.

Any thoughts?

Gautam: I’ve only seen part 2, but he’s showing the alternative methods of making it. For one, they did the entire process in the duck oven. For the second, they’ve roasted it until the meat is cooked, drying 2-4 hours until skin is dry, then deep-fry the skin, starting with cool oil, over low heat. The pork is the cooled and left overnight. Before selling, it’s deep-fried again, this time on both side in deep oil over high heat. He doesn’t indicate which method he thinks is better, other than to say that you save money by not frying. My understanding is that most people here deep-fry.

Thank you very much, Austin. That was an extremely interesting demo by a Thai-Chinese professional who takes great pride in his craft, as he holds up his shop’s telephone number! Quite different from the Cantonese, who employ a combination of lye solution + 40% alcohol rub to get the skin to rise up above the fat and to blister in the characteristic way while dry-roasting. The other procedures remain more or less the same.

In the first part, this gentleman shows what happens when you continue on with the duck oven: the overdone meat that you fear! The fat renders away, there is less definition of the skin, dries out like a board (“Pok-pok” in his colorful language), but the ventral side overcooks and nearly burns.

I suspect that pig breeds in China may be somewhat more “lardy” than the relatively lean breeds of Thailand, and lend themselves to true roasting over deep-frying “Thai style”. I could be quite wrong on this score.

Thanks for your help on a fascinating cultural piece.



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