Recently from a cart… Khao Man Gai   1 comment

I first read about Nong's Khao Man Gai cart in the Oregonian, the article is now posted online at the Oregon Live website, and there's a great review of it at Portland Food Carts Website. Her cart is located by 10th and Alder, right across essentially from Jake's Grill, which I had visited for a happy hour on Wednesday. When I spotted the cart, I vowed to go back the next day to grab my lunch from there.

The cart is just as pictured on her website: a small 2-person operation with her dishing out the rice that was steamed using a chicken broth for more flavor, and then a man in the back efficiently chopping the poached chicken into individual servings. She scoops the rice from the giant rice cookers into a neat dome, he tops it with chicken and adds the garnishings of cucumber and chinese parsley, meanwhile she is scooping the winter squash soup broth into a container or wrapping the package up in the paper, securing it with a rubber band, and slipping the plastic fork wrapped napkin underneath before taking your $6.

The chicken? 4.5 stars- I only don't give it 5 because I've had the fortunate experience of having home-cooked version of this from a Thai mom in Chicago who is known for this dish, and her chicken is much more flavorful- though the bones are still there to pick through, and Nong's chicken pile on the rice is boneless and very tender and moist.

The rice? 3 stars. Again, same comparison, and even some of the rice I've had with this dish in Thailand have had more flavor. Maybe my rice came from the rice cooker that was a bit older- but this trip, definitely nothing special.

But, the sauce- that is one of the keys to this dish. And Nong definitely gets 5 stars on this one, and the soup broth is a great addition to the whole lunch package to cool down the tang of the garlic and giner. I could go for a bit more chili, but I know as a standard baseline this is a fine flavoring sauce to the dish given this is Portland.

Good simple food- not necessarily the kind that should have a cult following like some of the carts in Thailand, but still a good choice even in Thailand of basic good food, and definitely still a great choice from a cart here in Portland!


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One response to “Recently from a cart… Khao Man Gai

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  1. Wow even if it isnt as good as in thailand it is great you could get it everyday. I am hungo!

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