Num Pang

Ratha Chaupoly and Ben Daitz. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25 (240p) ISBN 978-0-544-53431-5
Cambodia-born Chaupoly and native New Yorker Daitz were both building impressive restaurant industry resumes when they met, one day, at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. They quickly became friends and business partners, opening the Num Pang sandwich shop in Greenwich Village in 2009. Seven years and five additional locations later, the two are spilling their secrets of success in this collection of tangy recipes. They begin by revealing the “holy trinity (of four),” the ingredients that go into every sort of num pang (spoiler alert: cucumber, cilantro, chili mayo, and pickled carrots). Then, rather than focusing on sandwich building, they deconstruct, exploring the many ways of turning fowl, meat, fish, and vegetables into succulent centerpieces that can either be stuffed into a baguette, or served as a main or side dish. Highlights include a chile-basil fried chicken made with buttermilk; glazed five-spice pork belly with a hint of maple syrup; hoisin meatballs; and peppercorn catfish. Dotted throughout are helpful “know this” tip boxes, offering sage advice on skills such as flame-roasting ginger and judging the thickness of coconut milk. There is also a chapter of meals in a bowl with predictable entries such as oxtail stew, surprising options such as oatmeal flavored with tamarind, mango, and papaya, and, just for the heck of it, a traditional matzo ball soup. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/18/2016
Release date: 05/17/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-0-544-53494-0
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