Thai Galloping Horses (Ma Hor)

Southeast Asia and Thailand in particular have descriptive and interesting names for many dishes. Items like Son in Law Eggs, Money Bags, Drunken Noodles, Crying Tiger, and Fat Horses, for example. In this case, Galloping Horses are cool tangerine slices stuffed with a pork filling topped with fresh herb leaves and eaten by hand.

The story goes (one of them anyway) that the recipe’s name came about because the Chinese traders who brought their horse caravans down through northern Thailand were called ‘Jeen Hor’, or ‘the Galloping Chinese’.

Thai galloping horses

Ma Hor – Galloping Horses

This is a stunning appetizer- the chewy-salty-nutty filling on top of bright orange and yellow fruits and is enhanced by fresh cilantro, chili peppers, and mint leaves. It's easy to make and the joy produced from happy guests make these a welcome addition to any buffet. Pineapple slices are often used instead of tangerines.
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Course: Appetizer, Brunch
Cuisine: Southeast Asian, Thailand
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Wok or frying pan


  • 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp Garlic, minced
  • 12 oz Ground pork
  • 2 tbsp Asian fish sauce
  • 4 tbsp Light brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp Black pepper
  • ½ cup Roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 head Soft lettuce, leaves separated
  • 4 large Tangerines
  • 2 Fresh red chiles, slivered
  • ½ cup Mint leaves
  • ½ cup Cilantro leaves


  • Prepare Fruit – Peel and remove all white pith from the tangerines. Separate sections and slit vertically down the middle, not all the way through, to form a pocket. If using pineapple, slices should be similar in size to the tangerine sections.
  • Prepare Filling – Heat wok and add oil. Add garlic and quickly stir-fry until fragrant. Add pork, fish sauce, brown sugar, and black pepper. Stir-fry until pork is cooked through and broken up. Stir in peanuts, remove from heat, and let cool.
  • Assemble and Serve – Place lettuce leaves on a serving platter. Arrange tangerine wedges on top of lettuce, cut-side up. Put 1 heaping tsp pork mixture on each tangerine wedge.
    Garnish with a scattering of red chili shreds, mint, and coriander leaves.


  • Pineapple wedges may used instead of or with tangerine.
  • Tangerines may be served as thick horizontal slices rather than filled wedges.


Calories: 261kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 421mg | Potassium: 364mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 707IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 1mg

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