Ever since I handed My Pirate the new cook book, Pok Pok: Food and Stories from the Streets, Homes, and Roadside Restaurants of Thailand, by Andy Ricker with JJ Goode, our roles have reversed in the kitchen. I'm running to my new favorite Asian market, Tola Angkor Market, to pick up last minute items like shallots, limes, and mint. We've been shopping for new kitchen equipment that the cookbook suggests. A couple of weeks ago we purchased a Thai clay mortar and wooden pestle for mixing salads. My Pirate is working his way through the salad chapter and I'm loving every minute of it.
I'm normally the one going through crazy phases in the kitchen, but this time I just get to stand back and encourage him. And nosh on some pretty amazing food. Andy Ricker's recipes translated for the home cook make for a convincing version of my favorite Pok Pok dishes. And whenever I've been able to pry the book away from My Pirate, it's a great read. So far, his book has exceeded my expectations.
Andy Ricker brought Thai street food to Portland in the form of a food shack named Pok Pok. Now he runs four restaurants in Portland and two in New York City. If you live near one of his restaurants, you simply must go and try their Khao Soi curry soup, Vietnamese fish-sauce wings, and a drinking vinegar. It will change your life or the very least wow you. Whenever I'm across the river in Portland, I like to drop by Pok Pok and order a bowl of Khao Soi, and add so many roasted pepper flakes that my nose runs as I eat it. It's fantastic.
Ricker's cookbook will never take the place of Pok Pok in my heart, but it's wonderful for those nights that we want to stay in and cook. My kitchen is filling up with new ingredients and kitchen gear and I'm enjoying their influence in our cooking. Last week, I made a tuna melt out of the leftovers of Yam Tuna, a Thai Tuna Salad and my eyes rolled into the back of my head as I ate it. Everything old is new again!
Food 52 recently featured JJ Goode and included several recipes from the Pok Pok cook book. Check it out.
And out of curiosity, what is your favorite Pok Pok dish?