For a taste of the “Pok Pok” cookbook, restaurant owner and chef Andy Ricker has shared the recipe for one of his most popular dishes — Yam Khai Dao, or fried egg salad.
“It’s one of the easiest recipes in the book, but also one of the most delicious,” Ricker said.
Fried egg salad
Serves 2 to 6 as part of a meal; recipe is easily doubled
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 to 1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice (preferably from Key limes or spiked with a small squeeze of Meyer lemon juice)
11/2 tablespoons Naam Cheuam Naam Taan Piip (Palm sugar simple syrup)
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
3 grams peeled garlic, halved lengthwise and very thinly sliced (about 11/2 teaspoons)
2 grams fresh Thai chiles (about 2 small), preferably green, thinly sliced
14 grams green leaf lettuce, cut into 2-inch-thick pieces (about 1 cup, lightly packed)
1 ounce peeled yellow onion, thinly sliced with the grain (about 1/4 cup, lightly packed)
14 grams peeled carrot, cut into long (about 3-inch), thin (about 1/8-inch) strips (about 1/4 cup, lightly packed)
1/4 cup very coarsely chopped Chinese celery (thin stems and leaves), lightly packed
1/4 cup very coarsely chopped cilantro (thin stems and leaves), lightly packed
Heat a wok or nonstick frying pan over high heat, then add just enough oil to reach a depth of a generous quarter-inch. Once the oil begins to smoke, carefully crack in the eggs (holding them close to the oil to avoid splatter) and decrease the heat to medium. The eggs should spit, bubble, and crackle wildly. The whites should puff and develop large transparent bubbles.
Once the whites get crispy and deep golden brown at the edges, after 45 seconds to 1 minute, use a spatula to flip the eggs (try not to break the yolks, but if you do, it is fine) and keep cooking until the bottom is golden brown and the yolks are set but still molten, 30 to 45 seconds more. Transfer the eggs to paper towels to drain. Discard the oil, then rinse and wipe out the wok and let it cool. You can fry the eggs for as many as 15 minutes before you make the salad.
Add the lime juice, simple syrup, fish sauce, garlic, and chiles to the wok, set it over medium heat, and heat the mixture just until it is warm to the touch, which should take about 15 seconds. Turn off the heat.
Quarter the eggs through the yolks and add them to the wok along with the remaining ingredients. Stir gently but well, then transfer the salad, liquid and all, to a plate in a low heap, so that most of the herbs end up near the top, and serve.
Naam Cheuam Naam Taan Piip
Palm sugar simple syrup
Some recipes call for a dead-simple syrup made from palm sugar and water.
You can easily double or quadruple the amounts.
21/2 ounces palm sugar, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
Combine the sugar and the water in a very small pot or pan. Set it over medium heat and cook, stirring and breaking up the sugar as it softens, until the sugar has completely dissolved. If the water begins to bubble before the sugar has completely dissolved, turn off the heat and let it finish dissolving in the hot liquid. Let it cool before storing. The syrup keeps in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Reprinted with permission from Pok Pok by Andy Ricker with J.J. Goode, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.