Project Pok Pok Cookbook: Yam Khai Da


I found the salads to be amongst my favorite of the recipes I’ve tried so far. They are simple, lovely, incredibly flavorful little concoctions that make me (and my pallet) very, very happy.

Yam Khai Dou, the fried egg salad, was the first I tried.

The only ingredient you need to make in order to prepare this salad is a Palm Simple Syrup

Yam Khai Dao (Fried Egg Salad)

Serves 2 to 6 as part of a meal; recipe is easily doubled



  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil


  •  1 1/2 cups lime juice (Preferably from Key limes or spiked with a small squeeze of Meyer lemon juice)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of Cheuam Naam Taan Piip (Palm Simple Syrup)
  • 1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
  • 3 grams peeled garlic, halved lengthwise and very thinly spliced (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 2 grams fresh Thai chilies, preferably green, very thinly sliced


  • 14 grams green leaf lettuce, cut into 2 inch thick pieces (about 1 cup, lightly packed)
  • 1 oz. yellow onion, thinly sliced with the grain (about 1/4 cup, lightly packed)
  • 14 grams peeled carrot, cut into long, thin strips (about 3″ x 1/8″) (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


Fry the Eggs:

Heat a wok or non stick frying pan over high heat, then add just enough oil to reach a depth of a generous 1/4 inch. Once the oil begins to smoke, carefully crack the eggs and decrease the heat to medium. The eggs should spit, bubble and crackle. The whites should puff and develop large transparent bubbles.

Once the egg whites get crispy and golden brown, about 45 second to 1 minute, use spatula to flip the eggs (trying not to break the yolk…but if you do, no problem) 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, rinse wok, wipe out and let cool.

Make the Dressing and Assemble the Salad:

Add the lime juice, simple syrup, fish sauce, garlic and chilies to the wok, set over medium heat and heat the mixture just until it’s warm to the touch, 15 seconds or so. Turn off the heat.

Quarter the eggs through the yolks and add the 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 on top, and serve.

Palm Simple Syrup


  • 2 1/2 oz. palm sugar, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water


  • Combine the sugar and the water in a very small pot and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring and breaking up the sugar until it softens, just 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 cool before storing. The syrup keeps in an airtight fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Project: Pok Pok Cookbook; The Breakdown


What, you were expecting those recipes right away? Greedy, greedy, greedy. Also, not only do projects take time, but blogging takes time, too, and I’ve been sorely lacking in that lately. What can we do to create more time???

Okay, so before I get to the recipes, (I’m writing a few posts at once today, so don’t worry! They’ll come one by one, hopefully all week long) I wanted to give you the breakdown on where I ended up after all my elimination rounds.

The recipes I settled on for Round One of Project Pok Pok Cookbook:



  • Ike’s Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings (I mean, how can you not?)


  • Phat Khanaeng (Stir-Fried Brussels Sprouts)
  • Phat Fak Thawng (Northern Thai Styled Stir-Fried Squash)
  • Phat Buung Fai Daeng (Stir-Fried Water Spinach)

Main Courses/One Plate Meals:

  • Aep Plaa (Curried Fish Grilled in Banana Leaves)
  • Yam Jin Kai (Northern Thai Chicken Soup)
  • Kaeng Khanun (Northern Thai Young Jackfruit Curry)
  • Kai Kaphrai Khai Dao (Stir-Fried Chicken with Hot Basil)
  • Khao Phat Muu (Thai-Styled Fried Rice with Pork)
  • Phat Si Ew (Stir Fried Rice Noodles with Chicken, Chinese Broccoli and Soy Sauce)
  • Hoi Thawt (Broken Crepe with Mussels)
  • Stir Fried Yunnan Ham with Chilies
  • Cha Ca La Vong (Vietnamese Tumeric Marinated Fish with Noodles and Herbs)

Now, of these 5 dishes did not make it in Round One, most because I had trouble finding Korean Salted Shrimp. I have located it, but those dishes had to be shoved to Round Two since I was starting a Whole60 so had limited time to work with.

Here’s the like ingredients these dishes had in common which I had to prepare in advance to make them:


I will add links to recipes for these ingredients as the recipes use them. Many are quick and easy, although some take hours.  Also, all these recipe titles will become links as the recipes are posted. Ahhh!! Okay, recipe posting commence!! Hope you enjoy. I found pretty much everything, across the board, spectacular.

New Project: The Pok Pok Cookbook


I know, I know, it’s been forever, I’m sure you’ve all been freaking out on a regular basis about where I’ve been. Life is busy!! Projects take time.

Anyhow, here’s a new/old one: the Pok Pok Cookbook. I was actually gifted this cookbook in 2013 — a fact I was reminded of when opening the cookbook to an inscription which read: “I love you! Now cook this stuff for us! 12-25-13”. Yes, I do realize that it’s now 2018 as of tomorrow.  Yes, I understand that’s 4 whole years. The Pok Pok Cookbook is not a simple project. I have made one or two batches of Pok Pok wings over the years and there are, of course, one off meals you can make here and there but if you really want to cook the stuff in here, it takes a commitment, probably some equipment you don’t have, definitely some ingredients you will have to seriously source, and some time to cook a load of ingredients that require home cooking and are made from ingredients that have been seriously sourced. And in my defense, in this time I have acquired some of the needed cookware, not all, but one can only do so much.

Even now, I’m attacking this project in doses. This is just Part One. I’m back on Whole 30 for a couple of months come tomorrow, and so will break from this project and return for Part Two in March or April. I’m hoping, in those few months, to get a couple more things so I can cook more dishes, though I still have plenty I can make with what I’ve got.

There are seventy recipes in all, so I think we’re talking about three parts in all. I’ve definitely learned during Part One, and so I think I’ll be able to have a better plan for Part Two.


I was hoping to have a full month of Pok Pok in December, but by the time I was able to get to the Asian market I had about two weeks left. Here’s how I approached it:

First, I went through the book and marked off recipes which interested me. (I think that was pretty much all of them). Then, I went through again, and if I didn’t have the proper equipment, I eliminated it. That probably left me with about half the recipes, cause I still don’t have a clay mortar with wooden pestle, nor an aluminum steamer; also no sticky rice steamer or long handled noodle basket, and no meat cleaver. What I DO have, and you will need to attempt pretty much any of this:

  • A flat bottomed wok and wok spatula
  • A granite mortar and pestle
  • A rice steamer

Umm…I think that’s it. If you have those three things you can make a lot of this stuff.

So, thirdly, I went through all my remaining recipes, and I wrote a list of homemade ingredients they needed, and I counted how many like ingredients there were. Any ingredient that was used three or more times got a check on that recipe.

So now I was left with about 25 recipes. I went through the book a final time and just let my instincts decide which ones were the winners for round one; partially based on what I wanted to cook and partially based on the level of complication there was in any given recipe — certainly in Part One the winners are the simpler recipes that don’t take weeks of prep.

I ended up with a list of 3 salads or appetizers, 3 sides, and 9 main courses that I was hoping to make over the last two weeks.


I succeeded in making all three salads, 2 of the sides and 7 of the 9 main courses. My reasons for failure were missing ingredients and time. I was hoping to get as many ingredients as possible in person, and then supplement only as absolutely necessary online — which is also tricky. Still, I did pretty well, and it’s certainly been a deliciously fun adventure which has taken me all over NYC in search of the right stuffs.

My next few posts will be the recipes I tried! Forgive the photography — there was never any food left the next day to photograph anything in the daylight. Happy 2018!!