Yes, finally! I went to Portland (first time ever) for a wedding recently and got to try a lot of the delicious eats there, but still didn’t get to make as much as a dent to their never ending food list as I would of liked. But I sure tried and Nong’s Khao Man Gai was one of the first eats on my list.
One of the things I loved about Portland is their street carts. They have over 500 carts available at any given time. Totally reminded me of when I lived in Korea and enjoyed endless amounts of Korean street food everywhere. So it felt good when I came upon street carts “plazas” called “Pods” throughout the city. A map of food carts can be found here.
There were a few reasons why I was drawn to try out Nong’s Khao Man Gai out of the endless list of food carts. One, I love that Nong’s Khao Man Gai specializes in one item, you guessed it, Khao Man Gai, Thai Chicken and Rice. It’s why I love In N Out so much. Second, I love Thai and I never have had Khao Man Gai. So naturally, I need to change ASAP. Third, a recommendation from a friend stated it is better than what she has found in SE Asia and no MSG. Totally sold and super hyped I was.
Khao Man Gai Thai Chicken and Rice $8
Thai chicken and rice served with soybean sauce (gluten free version) and soup on the side
Nong’s longer explanation of Khao Man Gai, “whole chicken poached in the right temperature with salt, sugar, garlic, ginger, garlic, shallots and galangar. We use Mary’s Free Range Chicken. Sauce is fermented soybean sauce mixed with garlic, ginger, thai chili.”
It really is fresh and simple when you open it up. When I tasted the chicken without Nong’s sauce, although cooked perfectly didn’t have much flavor. But man, as soon as I poured Nong’s soybean sauce on everything, it was like an explosion of Thai goodness just came pouring out. Right amount of fermented soybean sauce, and loads of garlic, ginger, and chili – but not spicy.
It was surprisingly super filling and the light chicken soup was super refreshing, even on a hot day.
Nong does sell her sauce at the cart, but sadly they don’t sell their gluten free version yet. I hope more requests come in, as I would instantly buy it. It really is that good.
TIP: Go early as possible so you can get some of their chicken skins and/or liver. They only have limited quantities and sell out super early, and I totally missed out! Don’t make the same mistake as I did.
Address: SW 10th and Alder Street Portland, OR 97205
Hours:Mon – Fri: 10 am to 4pm or sold out