Khao kan jin

 Khao kan jin, rice steamed with blood, as served at a stall in Mae Hong Son The name of this dish is, I believe, dialect for, 'rice with meat'. It's a Shan dish that one finds all over northern Thailand, but is best near its traditional homeland.

Ironically there's little meat involved in the dish; that is unless you consider blood meat. The dish is made from rice that has been mixed with blood (and perhaps a bit of salt) and steamed in a banana leaf. When served, the dish is topped with crispy deep-fried garlic, plenty of garlic oil and deep-fried chilies. Coriander (cilantro) and bean sprouts are served on the side. If you have the dish in Burma's Shan State it's served with the pungent root of a type of onion/leek.

One of the best versions of the dish I've encountered is at a tiny roadside stall in Mae Hong Son:

At a stall that serves khao kan jin, rice steamed with blood, Mae Hong Son

The stall serves just two things: khao kan jin and the local version of nam ngiaw, a northern-style noodle dish. Not surprisingly, the rice dish is rich and oily, but unless you were already aware, you'd never know it was made with blood (which has little flavour of its own anyway). The nam ngiaw is made in the local style: watery and employing more tomatoes than meat.

Khao Kan Jin Stall Th Khunlum Praphat, Mae Hong Son 1-7pm

View Larger Map