If you love to eat Thai food, but don’t know how to cook it, Kris Yenbamroong wants to solve your problems. His brash style of spicy, sharp Thai party food is created, in part, by stripping down traditional recipes to wring maximum flavor out of minimum hassle. Whether it’s a scorching hot crispy rice salad, lush coconut curries, or a wok-seared pad Thai, it’s all about demystifying the universe of Thai flavors to make them work in your life.
Kris is the chef of Night + Market, and this cookbook is the story of his journey from the Thai-American restaurant classics he grew eating at his family’s restaurant, to the rural cooking of Northern Thailand he fell for traveling the countryside. But it’s also a story about how he came to question what authenticity really means, and how his passion for grilled meats, fried chicken, tacos, sushi, wine and good living morphed into an L.A. Thai restaurant with a style all its own.
"What Kris is doing is nothing short of revolutionary in the Thai food game. You see, just calling Kris a Thai chef would be doing a disservice to him and to other young chefs who are shaping the future of Asian American food." –
"Every time I’m in L.A., I have to eat a meal at Night + Market. It’s one of my favorite spots anywhere. I love Thai food but know little about cooking it, and I’m too embarrassed to ask! So this book makes me insanely happy."--
"Forget the blurbs - buy this book and start having tasty Thai bites at home! Full disclosure: I have not read this book and am being compensated in khao soi for endorsing it."--
“Finally, from the brain, heart and kitchen of Kris Yenbamroong, comes
Night + Market, a guide to cooking his genius, flavor exploding cuisine at home.”--
"I didn''t know that cookbooks could do all of this: be honest and eye-opening, inspiring to both chefs and diners, teach, make you laugh, and make you want to cook. Honestly, I haven''t cooked from a cookbook in a long time, but I cooked from
Night + Market the first day I had it. Tom Khar Soup. I couldn''t resist. It sucked me in and I haven''t stopped thinking about it since."--
“Night + Market restaurant is the culinary equivalent of going to the coolest warehouse art party knowing the crowd will be hip, and the garage band will rock, but assuming the art might be so-so, only to discover that the cinderblock walls are adorned with masterpieces from Warhol, Basquiat, Rauschenberg, Kahlo, etc…Your mouth will thank you for introducing it to Night + Market.”--
"It''s always been a wine place to me, which happens to have the additional bonus of searing, amazing Northern Thai food. I like that I can get my chili endorphin rush along with some cloudy macerated white wine."--
“Kris’s Night + Market is doing for Thai food what I did with pizza and other classics at Spago three and a half decades ago: reimagining them for adventurous modern tastes and creating the kind of food that’s meant to be enjoyed with wine and other drinks and shared happily with your friends. I’m excited to see how easy, accessible, and delicious Kris’s recipes are, and how entertainingly, smartly, and honestly he writes about them, and I can’t wait to cook his food in my own kitchen for my family and friends.”--
"If you love Thai food but have always been too intimidated to try cooking it, this
book will be your new best friend. All the recipes are delicious, bold, and will impress both you and your friends."--
"Sure, Thai food is great with booze, but you don’t have to drink to appreciate its nuance. “Night + Market,” from LA chef Kris Yenbamroong, offers recipes for “grandma” dishes such as pad see ew and fish curry noodles, reimagined dishes (grilled catfish tamales, Isaan salmon ceviche), snacks and party dishes (roasted green chile dip, chicken wings, uni garlic fried rice), and more. He also argues we should be drinking more wine with Thai food."--
The Boston Globe
"A fun and deeply personal read"--
The San Francisco Chronicle
"LA chef Kris Yenbamroong’s first cookbook serves as an enticing gateway drug into the world of Thai cookery, and readers need not have patronized his restaurant by the same name to be thoroughly dazzled by the recipes contained within. A straight-up fun read."--
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KRIS YENBAMROONG has been featured in every major food publication, from Bon Appétit to Food & Wine to the New York Times, and was a James Beard Award semifinalist. He also has ties to the fashion and art worlds: he worked for photographer Richard Kern; he has appeared in ads for J Crew and in magazines like Details and Esquire and on Vice.com. His restaurant group, Night + Market, is arguably the most talked about, lauded, and nationally recognized restaurant in Los Angeles.
DRUNKEN NOODLE PASTRAMI PAD KEE MAO
Serves 1 or 2
I don’t think anyone quite knows where the name for “drunken noodles” originated.
Pad means “to stir-fry” and
kee mao is a great Thai phrase that means “someone who is prone to drunkenness,” i.e., your uncle who usually shows up to the family reunion three whiskeys deep. Are they called drunken noodles because they’re meant to feed people stumbling out of bars at night, or because some Thai cooks add a glug of Chinese cooking wine? I’m not entirely sure.
What I do know is that we sell a ton of pad kee mao at Night + Market, especially to the late-night crowd. This dish is not as iconic as
pad see ew or pad Thai, but it does have many of the aspects people love about Thai food: It’s spicy, fragrant, and carb-heavy enough to function as a post-drinking meal. At the restaurant we sometimes toss the noodles with short rib that’s been pressure-cooked with soy sauce and aromatics until tender, but if you have leftover steak or roast beef on hand, then by all means slice that up and throw it in the wok.
This version, though, is my favorite. It’s the result of an experiment inspired by the kung pao pastrami Danny Bowien serves at Mission Chinese. It involves going to the nearest deli counter and having them slice the pastrami extra thick (¼ inch), then tossing it into the wok at home. Something about the combination of salty deli meats and drunken noodles makes perfect sense.
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon Prik Tum (pg 308), or ½ teaspoon each minced fresh bird’s eye chiles and garlic
¼ large red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and cut into strips
8 ounces fresh wide rice noodles (chow fun), separated into strands (see Note pg. 39)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons Stir-Fry Sauce (pg. 306)
6 ounces sliced pastrami (¼ inch thick), cut into 1 × 2-inch ribbons
Handful of Thai basil leaves
Ground white pepper
Crispy Fried Egg (pg. 244), for topping (optional)
1. Heat an empty wok over high heat until it begins to smoke, then swirl in the oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the
prik tum and stir until it becomes fragrant, just a few seconds. Add the bell pepper and jalapeño and stir-fry until slightly softened, 30 seconds or so. Then quickly add the rice noodles, sugar, and stir-fry sauce, tossing to coat evenly.
2. Once the noodles have absorbed most of the sauce, add the pastrami and toss again. Stir-fry until the meat is warmed through and the noodles have developed a slight char, then remove from the heat. Add a splash of fish sauce, the basil leaves, and a shake of white pepper and toss again to combine. Top with the fried egg, if desired.