Portland, OR Edition: Nong's Khao Man Gai

By Candace Nelson - 5:00 PM

Nong's Khao Man GaiWho knew a simple chicken and rice dish would gain a cult following?

Nong's Khao Man GaiNong's Khao Man Gai is more than just that, though. This food cart started out with humble beginnings and has grown and expanded and introduced the folks of Portland to khao man gai.

Nong's Khao Man Gai

Poonsukwattana had to teach Portland the ways of khao man gai. "It's about balance," she repeatedly says as she walks through how the dish is made. "Here and there I see people criticize my dish. They think that every part of it has to have flavor, like a burrito. But it doesn't work that way for me." Instead, Poonsukwattana layers flavors slowly, infusing each of the three main components of the dish — the chicken, rice, and soup — with essence of the others, whether in shared aromatics or, in the case of the rice and the soup, literally infusing it with the very chickens being served on the same plate. A wallop of flavor comes from the sauce. "I like the chicken and rice," Poonsukwattana smiles. "And one word comes to my mind: celebrating." (EATER)
Nong's Khao Man Gai
 This dish seems so simple, but there's so much that goes into it. After learning about it, it makes sense why it has such a following.

Nong's Khao Man GaiWhile there are other things on the menu, this is what most people are going for:

1. Chicken and Rice  (Khao Man Gai(breast meat $9.25, mix meat $9.25, thigh meat $9) Poached, organic kosher raise chickens (we use Marys chicken) with best quality jasmine rice simmer in chicken stock and Thai herbs, served with sauce of fermented soybeans, ginger, garlic, thai chilies, vinegar, house made syrup and soy sauce. Garnished with cucumbers and cilantro, and accompanied by a light soup 
Nong's Khao Man Gai

Wow. There is so much flavor, the chicken is perfectly tender, and that sauce is spicy and sweet and absolutely delicious. The soup - flavorful and a perfect complement. That rice even has a chicken flavor. It's all very delicious together.

Grade: A
Nong's Khao Man Gai Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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