A guide to bold, authentic Thai cooking from Andy Ricker, the chef and owner of the wildly popular and widely lauded Pok Pok restaurants.
After decades spent traveling throughout Thailand, Andy Ricker wanted to bring the country's famed street food stateside. In 2005 he opened Pok Pok, so named for the sound a pestle makes when it strikes a clay mortar, in an old shack in a residential neighborhood of Portland, Oregon. Ricker's traditional take on Thai food soon drew the notice of the New York Times and Gourmet magazine, establishing him as a culinary star. Now, with his first cookbook, Ricker tackles head-on the myths that keep people from making Thai food at home: that it's too spicy for the American palate or too difficult to source ingredients.
Ricker shares more than fifty of the most popular recipes from Thailand and his Pok Pok restaurants—ranging from Khao Soi Kai (Northern Thai curry noodle soup with chicken) to Som Tam Thai (Central Thai–style papaya salad) to Pok Pok’s now-classic (and obsessed-over) Fish-Sauce Wings. But Pok Pok is more than just a collection of favorite recipes: it is also a master course in Thai cooking from one of the most passionate and knowledgeable authorities on the subject. Clearly written, impeccably tested recipes teach you how to source ingredients; master fundamental Thai cooking techniques and skills; understand flavor profiles that are unique to Southeast Asian cuisine; and combine various dishes to create show-stopping, well-balanced meals for family and friends.
Filled with thoughtful, colorful essays about Ricker’s travels and experiences, Pok Pok is not only a definitive resource for home cooks, but also a celebration of the rich history, vibrant culture, and unparalleled deliciousness of Thai food.
I made this with my boyfriend Kenny, high on Thai flavors following an August trip to Thailand. It took us a few weeks to find crab, since it was out of season but we finally stumbled on some previously frozen crab and jumped at the chance of making this dish. It's a relatively easy dish, but even if it weren't worth any amount of time it would take to make—it was delicious, we devoured all of it in one sitting. It was a very messy dish, be ready with paper towels and a bib or apron. Made on 9/2/14.
Another win for Pok Pok! This recipe is bit labor intensive, but turned out great. I subbed chicken instead of pork and bok choy instead of broccoli. Also, I used oyster sauce in place of the dark soy sauce. The final flavor was great but needed a little something extra. I added a small drizzle of chili oil and would have added a squeeze of lime if I had it. All in all, delicious. Made on 9/8/14.