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RECIPES BY NOI: Kang Kradang/Pork jelly

This year some of us are very happy to have quite a long cold season and I hope this recipe isn’t too late to make it for the cold season.
Kang Kradang is truly a dish of the cold season. In the old days we needed to wait until the cold season to cook this dish because there was neither refrigerator nor electricity. Only in the cold season would the soup become jelly. The best part of the pig is the skin, head and leg. These parts give fat and tendons that have gelatin, the key to make jelly in room temperature.
I remember riding on a bicycle with my mom super early in the morning in the cold season to the village market. I saw Kang Kradang everywhere so we ended up buying one for breakfast. In my village we have red Kang Kradang but in Chiang Mai I have seen it a pale white color, the different colors come from different ways of cooking.
Boil the pork with salt and lemongrass until well cooked and tender. Then remove the pork from the soup. We make it red by stir frying chili paste made from pounded garlic, dried chilis, shallots and salt with the pork in some cooking oil. If you want the white jelly then there is no need to stir fry the chili paste and pork.
Add the soup and cook until the soup is condensed by half. Remove from heat and leave it at room temperature (or the refrigerator now that we have electricity!). When it becomes jelly you can cut it into any shape but most people cut it into squares because it is easy to wrap in a banana leaf.
We should cook it now before the last cool breeze is gone!

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