Kenzi’s writing to us from Portland for the next few days—here’s her latest discovery.
And that’s saying nothing of my investigative powers, even if I did come prepared with a fedora and P.I.-style trench coat. (Seriously—this is me right now.) It’s saying everything of Portland, and its glorious, brimming, melting pot of a food scene.
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My very first food stop—after coffee at the comically large Coava on Grand (I’m not kidding; I did a cartwheel in the bathroom)—was Nong’s Khao Man Gai for chicken and rice. It was a thing of beauty, much like I expected it to be—all simple, white foods cooked perfectly so they tasted neither simple nor white—but it was here that I remembered the beauty of sticky soy sauce.
Kenzi's chicken and rice, pre-douse.
I sat in the corner by the window, dumping it generously over my whole plate—maniacally, maybe, they way only that much concentrated sugar and salt can inspire. And then I vowed to make myself a bottle the minute I got home, and keep it in my pantry forever and ever amen.
Here’s the method I’ve used before—but I’d love to know yours: Combine 4 parts soy to 1 part mirin in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once it’s reached a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until the liquid has reduced by about half. The sauce should be the consistency of honey.
Cool, store, then do as I did and go eat a donut. I did say melting pot, right?
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).
I have a thing for most foods topped with a fried egg, a strange disdain for overly soupy tomato sauce, and I can never make it home without ripping off the end of a newly-bought baguette. I like spoons very much.