BANGKOK — Boiled pork blood with innards soup with rice at ‘Lek Luead Mu’ near Saphan Kwai intersection is one of the oldest and best in Bangkok.
The sign at its original street-side shop says it’s been around for 30 years, but second-generation owner and chef Chatphol Soontronsophol said it’s more like four-decades old now.
“I have been doing it since we began with pushing carts when I was three,” 37-year-old Chatpol, or ‘A’ as he is known by his nickname, said.
The pepperish soup is hard to beat. Those unfamiliar to this southern Chinese dish localized and co-opted into Thai food scenes many decades ago might want to think of Bak Kut Teh soup, but more complex.
“It’s balanced,” the Thai-Chinese owner Chatphol said of his recipe.
To taste is to be convinced, and I was definitely convinced. The pork blood and offal and cooked just right.
If there’s anything to criticize, or a letdown, it’s the fact that the vegetable used for the soupy dish here is lettuce, and not ivy gourd, or ‘tamleung’ as it’s known in Thai at some other places. The latter has more complex taste and more fibre to chew on.
Chatphol was brutally honest as to why he doesn’t use it.
“We don’t want to waste time plucking the young vines,” he said matter-of-factly. True to the casual nature of Bangkok’s street food culture, the shop can also close down when Chatphol and his staff feel exhausted.
The rice that comes in a rice bowl here is standard in quality but since it costs only 10 baht, one shouldn’t expect much anyway.
For foreigners potentially put off by the idea of eating boiled blood cubes or pork innards, Chatphol said a few farangs who ventured in out of curiosity often asked for just the soup, crispy pork, and rice.
“Very few customers are foreigners. Even younger Thais are not too familiar,” said Chatphol.
This is a dish that those wanting to venture beyond the brander Thai-Chinese cuisine like dim sum and egg noodle soup should definitely try.
Lek Luead Mu is located next to Sathu Pradiphat Road 20. The shop opens from 5pm to 2am. It opens everyday but randomly closes down once every three to four months for a day or two, depending on Chatphol’s temperament. It has no Facebook page. Call 091-556-8988 for details.
The review is unsponsored.