If you love Thai food, and you’re interested in learning about how to prepare Thai food, flip open the cover of Pok Pok: Food and Stories from the Streets, Homes and Roadside Restaurants of Thailand by Andy Ricker with JJ Goode.
“To my tastes, the corn in Thailand is, to be charitable, not awesome. But as soon as I tried this preparation from a vendor on the grounds of a Chiang Mai temple, I couldn’t wait to try it back home. The combination of rich, salty coconut cream infused with pandan leaf and America’s stunning sweet corn is so good it gives the mayo- and cheese-covered Mexican stuff a run for its money!” — Andy Ricker
Try it with: Anything grilled, like kai yaang (whole roasted young chicken) or sii khrong muu yaang (Thai-style pork ribs). You can find both of these recipes in the book.
Special equipment: A charcoal grill (highly recommended), grates oiled
Grilled corn with salty coconut cream (Khao phot ping)
Serves 6 to 12 as part of a meal or as a snack
- 6 large ears corn, husked
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut cream (preferably boxed)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 fresh or frozen pandan leaf, tied into a knot (optional)
- 6 lime wedges (preferably from Key limes)
For the corn
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the corn and cook until it’s tender and no longer raw, about 8 minutes. Drain well.
You can boil the corn up to several hours before you plan to finish cooking it on the grill or even a few days in advance; just make sure to shock the corn in ice water as soon as the ears leave the boiling water.
For the coconut cream
- Combine the coconut cream, sugar, salt and pandan leaf in a small pot. It’s fine if the pandan leaf isn’t completely submerged.
- Set the pot over high heat, bring the mixture to a simmer (don’t let it boil), then decrease the heat to low.
- Cover and cook until the cream has thickened slightly and is infused with pandan flavor, about 10 minutes.
- Remove and discard the pandan leaf.
Grill the corn
- Prepare a grill, preferably charcoal, to cook over medium heat (see page 124) or preheat a lightly oiled grill pan over medium heat on the stovetop.
- Pour the cream mixture onto a large plate or platter. One or 2 at a time, add the corn, and rotate the ears to lightly coat them in the mixture.
- Grill the corn until it’s lightly charred in spots, occasionally turning the ears and brushing the corn with the cream mixture (or transferring the corn to the plate with the cream mixture and rotating it again), 5 to 10 minutes.
- Serve the corn with a drizzle of the remaining cream mixture and lime wedges for squeezing.
Reprinted with permission from Pok Pok by Andy Ricker with JJ Goode, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House Inc. Photography credit: Austin Bush © 2013
About the book
Andy Ricker’s cookbook, Pok Pok, begins by dispelling two specific myths for the reader: Thai food is too laborious to make at home, and you won’t be able to find the right ingredients. The recipes in this book are thoughtfully designed to be made with ingredients you can find in the U.S. The directions are detailed and straightforward so the reader can clearly follow along. So what’s stopping you?
There are 70 recipes and fabulous photos in Pok Pok, plus so much more. You’ll find somewhat standard sections, like an overview of ingredients, mail order resources and even equipment. Andy easily covers Thai meals, from a proper meal (many dishes shared along with rice) to one-plate meals to sweets.
In addition, there is information on specific regions of Thailand to include flavor and seasoning profiles, the types of rice used in dishes from the region and a list of the iconic dishes from each region.
These recipes are not only favorites from Thailand, but favorites from Andy’s Pok Pok restaurants, too. Throughout the pages, each recipe includes a flavor profile of the dish, suggestions for other dishes to serve as part of your meal, a plan of action for prep and any special equipment you might need. You’ll also find rich stories of the author’s time in Thailand.
This year, Pok Pok has been nominated in the “Best New Cookbook” category of the Munchies: People’s Choice Food Awards, which celebrates the best of the best of food in America. For these awards, the public votes for favorites in a variety of categories.
About the authors
Andy Ricker is the chef and owner of Pok Pok, Whiskey Soda Lounge, Pok Pok Noi and Sen Yai in Portland, Ore. plus Pok Pok Ny and Whiskey Soda Lounge Ny in New York City. The winner of a 2011 James Beard Award for Best Chef Northwest, Andy splits his time between Chiang Mai, Thailand; New York City; and Portland.
JJ Goode is a Brooklyn-based food writer, and co-author of the books A Girl and Her Pig with April Bloomfield, Morimoto with Masaharu Morimoto, and Truly Mexican with Roberto Santibañez.