The weekend started innocently enough. Chef Rouge took out ribless pork ribs with plans to cook them, but he’s been busy lately at the restaurant I decided to make Thai pork ribs and pulled out Andy Ricker’s Pok Pok cookbook.
I had hoped to eat at Pok Pok when I visited Portland 2 years ago but it was so popular that a group of 8 people could never get a table so I figured this was the next best thing.
Little did I know that this simple idea of making a recipe would keep me amused for the weekend. Saturday morning I made my list of new sauces I needed to buy.
I have the basics: fish sauce and sesame oil but I had to search for shao xing cooking wine and thin Thai soy sauce – not an easy feat as Asian supermarkets have 25 different kinds of soy sauce in several different languages. But I’ve shopped here before, spending 25 minutes trying to find ramen noodles in the aisle dedicated to noodles and knew patience would be a virtue.
Armed and ready to do this solo, I realized I didn’t know how to tackle the lemongrass so Chef Rouge offered to step in and showed me that chopping it first would help immensely in the mortar and pestle, which is good to know as I would have just hacked at it whole.
So while he was at it I asked him to help with the limes as well. Even though I wanted to cook for him, he loves to do it and technically he was helping with ingredients for the cucumber salad and jaew dipping sauce.
I’m on a cookbook kick this summer and want to try out more international recipes, any suggestions for good books or dishes?