Khao Khluk Kapi is a feast for the eyes. The array of colours on the plate like a painter’s palate only begin to do justice to this ultimately simple rice dish. Multiple textures and flavours, a balance between sweet, salty, sour, bitter, umami and spice make this one of my go to dishes, especially when I don’t quite know what I’m hungry for.
My first time having this dish was at the Jolly Frog (link), but ever since I generally give it a shot wherever I find it just for my own curiosity for comparison. I’ve found it in bus stations in Bangkok, a handful of restaurants, and smaller portions in Styrofoam containers at markets. It’s always more or less the same thing differing by one or two ingredients.
Rice being the main ingredient as per usual in a Thai meal, it is fried in shrimp paste (kapi) giving it a pastel purple colour, umami and a slight salty aspect. The usual suspects surrounding this are fresh chilies, thinly sliced red onion, dried shrimp, shredded green mango, chopped omelette and sweet/sour glazed pork. The usual lime wedge and cucumber slices generally on the side of the plate. Myself, I tend to mix it all up and squeeze the lime over top, but each bite could be constructed specifically to your taste. I also enjoy adding a bit of ‘prik nam pla’, the ubiquitous Thai table condiment. Whatever your tastes are, there will be something here for you.