Monday, July 14, 2014

Homemade Pok Pok Dinner, Take 1

I remember my first and only experience eating at Pok Pok in Brooklyn. It was a pleasant departure from the modern, house music-playing Thai restaurants in NYC. Portland Chef Andy Ricker of Pok Pok cooks really flavorful and extremely spicy dishes not typically found on Thai menus, so when he published his Pok Pok cookbook last year, I couldn't wait to try some of the recipes at home.

I documented our Pok Pok NY dinner destruction on November 23, 2012

My friend Katie, who writes an awesome food blog, also bought the Pok Pok cookbook so we decided to cook our first recipes from the book together. We selected three of the simpler recipes that didn't require too much advance preparation:

  • Isaan-Style Forest Mushroom Salad (Het Paa Naam Tok)
  • Stir-fried Chicken with Hot Basil (Kai Kaphrao Khai Dao)
  • Sticky Rice with Mango and Salty-Sweet Coconut Cream (Khao Niaw Mamuang)

The only ingredient I had to prepare the day before was the toasted sticky rice powder (Khao Khua) for the salad, which took four hours to toast. We were able to purchase majority of the ingredients from Bangkok Center Grocery in Chinatown and a regular supermarket; however, we had major issues finding hot or holy Thai basil, to the point, we ended up buying Thai basil off a Thai restaurant in Williamsburg.

Chopping the fresh vegetables and chilies was most of the work, as the cooking time was very quick.
Upon Katie's discretion, we cut the amount of fresh and dried thai chilies in the stir fry by half, and it was still really, really mouth numbingly spicy.
My roommate and resident bartender Ben made a Malaysian-inspired cocktail, Teh C Pang, which has layered palm sugar, tea and rum.
WE GOT BASIL! Sean and Peter skated to the only Thai restaurant (of the three in our neighborhood) that agreed to sell us basil.
With the exception of my undercooked sticky rice in the dessert, I think our first Pok Pok attempt was a success. Next time, I'm trying the Vietnamese Fish-Sauce Wings!

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