There’s a whole bevy of street vendors that pop up in the evening on a stretch of road across from the North Gate in Chiang Mai. There’s a lot of tasty food to be had here, but the most popular stall (by far) is Chang Phueak Pork Leg Rice.
It’s run by a woman who’s famous for cooking up tasty pork while wearing a cowboy hat — she’s known as the Cowboy Hat Lady (super creative nickname, I know), and she’s served no less than the man himself, Anthony Bourdain.
It’s a fairly simple dish — braised pork hock, an egg, and rice. There’s a container of pickled mustard greens at the table, as well as some zingy, vinegary chili sauce, but it’s all about that ultra-tender pork.
It’s super delicious. The pork has an amazing flavour and is almost ridiculously tender. But the highlight is the perfectly rendered skin, which basically just melts in your mouth. It’s phenomenal.
It’s great on its own, but once you add the sauce and the mustard greens, it really sings.
How to find it: There won’t be anything there if you come before 5:00 or so, but otherwise it’s hard to miss (just look for the cowboy hat).