Nong’s Khao Man Gai Sauce

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What Is Khao Man Gai

How it’s made: Nong’s Khao Man Gai sauce

Khao man gai is a relatively simple tasting dish, nothing is too strong in flavor or spice .

Its always a comforting dish, and in Thailand its eaten at makeshift street food stalls and shop house restaurants, and its always extremely common for takeaway, where its wrapped up in a piece of paper to-go.

There are a few different components that make up any bowl of Thai street food khao man gai , including boiled chicken, rice cooked in the chicken broth and oil, sauce, and finally a chicken soup side.

First step is to boil the chicken

Chicken And Rice With Peanut Sauce

The battle for the tastiest dish on the menu comes down to the original chicken and rice and this peanut sauced version , served with plain jasmine rice. The creamy, fragrant sauce made with peanuts, coconut milk, makrut lime, and chili strikes the perfect balance between sweet and spicy. It’s a little thinner than what you’d typically get with an appetizer platter of grilled chicken skewers, so it spreads over the steamed chicken, sinking into the moist chicken and soaking into the rice like a coconut-milk based gravy. If you gravitate towards cream curries, this dish will hit all the right notes.

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Delicious on its own, the sauce is ready to give a boost to stir-fries, noodles and rice bowls as isor it can be doctored up with a few additions to suit your mood and your food. Sliced fresh chilies can add heat, minced shallots heighten its sweet-savoriness, fresh herbs like cilantro lend freshness, and a spoonful of oyster sauce will deepen umami notes. Its great as a glaze brushed across chicken or pork before tossing on the grill. Try this sauce in our Spicy Stir-Fried Chicken and Snow Peasjust use ¼ cup Nongs instead of the oyster sauce and gochujang.

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Thai Khao Man Gai Recipe

NOTE: Remember, the recipe below is for a 1 chicken sized recipe , and the recipe ingredients above, is for the exact recipe I made in the video 4 whole chickens party sized but directions and method are all the same.

Time: Probably about 2 3 hoursRecipe size: 1 chicken and rice to go with it Utensils: Big pots, blenderFlavors: Comforting chicken and riceEat it with: This is a full meal combination Thai dish

For more Thai street food recipes, .

Nongs Khao Man Gai Chicken And Rice Sauce


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Based on a family recipe, Nongs Khao Man Gai Chicken and Rice Sauce packs flavor and tradition in every pour. Thick yet pourable, this sauce is savory, tangy and incredibly well balanced. Its punctuated with visible bits of fresh garlic and gingeradding a bright zip that balances the rich, salty umami of the soy base. Theres also a pleasant heat, but not so aggressive or overpowering to prevent the layers of flavor in the sauce from shining through. Theres not much that wouldnt benefit from a good pour of the stuff.

Based on a family recipe, Nongs Khao Man Gai Chicken and Rice Sauce packs flavor and tradition in every pour. Thick yet pourable, this sauce is savory, tangy and incredibly well balanced. Its punctuated with visible bits of fresh garlic and gingeradding a bright zip that balances the rich, salty umami of the soy base. Theres also a pleasant heat, but not so aggressive or overpowering to prevent the layers of flavor in the sauce from shining through. Theres not much that wouldnt benefit from a good pour of the stuff.

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At Nongs Khao Man Gai Chicken And Rice Is Actually Life

Everything you need to know about this famous Portland plate.

Nong Poonsukwattana seems to have boundless energy. At 9 a.m., she bikes up to her restaurant, then bounces from station to station as the crew preps the chicken and rice dish her empire is named for: khao man gai.

Poonsukwattana’s story has become something of a Portland fairy tale: After arriving in Oregon from her native Bangkok in 2003 with only $70 and a suitcase, she saved just enough money to open the Nong’s Khao Man Gai food cart in 2009, serving chicken and rice every day until the product ran out. “By the end of the first year, I had some people tell me, ‘You are the American dream,'” Poonsukwattana recalls. “I didn’t know what that was until the end of the second year. I was in my own apartment, and , ‘Wow, I can afford to live without roommates.’ That’s when I felt I succeeded at something.” Today, she bottles and sells her Khao Man Gai Sauce and branded t-shirts, has two cart locations, and a full-blown restaurant.

“But it’s not just chicken and rice, it’s my work.”

Below the elements of Nong’s khao man gai:

We Eat Everything At Nong’s Khao Man Gai In Portland

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In 2003, Nong Poonsukwattana arrived in Portland from Bangkok with two suitcases and $70. She worked as a restaurant server for her first five years, and cooked at Pok Pok for a year before opening her first food cart, Nong’s Khao Man Gai, in April 2009 at the corner of SW 10th and Alder in downtown Portland.

The cart specializes in one item: Khao Man Gai , a simple, delicious dish of juicy poached chicken, rice cooked in broth and aromatics, Nong’s signature sauce, and a few slices of cucumber and cilantro, all wrapped up in butcher paper. She fine-tuned the recipe by testing ingredients from different markets and perfecting the sauce in her apartment kitchen.

The business has grown to two additional locations: a second food cart near Portland State University and a 36-seat restaurant in Southeast Portland that doubles as a production space for Nong’s bottled sauces. The brick and mortar restaurant also has an expanded menu, including a vegetarian version of her signature dish, a pork and rice option, and spicy house-made pickles. We couldn’t wait to try it all.

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Thai Khao Man Gai Sauce

Ingredients :

  • 150 g. ginger
  • 150 g. garlic
  • 50 g. Thai bird chilies
  • 4 stalks of cilantro roots
  • 8 10 tbsp. fermented soy bean sauce this sauce can be very salty, so better to add less first and then add more. I normally use Healthy Boy brand, but if you cant find that, you can try Chinese fermented soybean sauce.
  • Cilantro to garnish

Fermented soy bean sauce, tao jeow

One of the main ingredients in Thai chicken rice sauce is fermented soy bean sauce, known in Thai as tao jeow .

For the vinegar, dont use rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar, but you just want neutral distilled white vinegar.

Theres no need to add any extra salt as the fermented soy bean sauce is already extremely salty.

Some of the sauce ingredients

Once you have all the ingredients ready to go, making the khao man gai sauce is actually quite easy.

Blend everything together

Just chop up the ginger, and toss everything into a blender. You want to blend everything up, and its really up to you how pureed you want it to be some like it chunky, others like it more smooth. I like a medium blend.

The next step is to taste test this is important.

If its too salty, you can water it down with more chicken broth from your soup.

Remember though, the sauce will be eaten with plain rice and chicken so it can be a little on the salty side. At first I was taste testing it by itself, and it was very salty, but with the rice and chicken it was perfect.

Khao mang gai sauce

Street food style!

Chicken And Rice Sauce

Thai Chicken and Rice recipe How to make Khao Man Gai Nong’s Khao Man Gai

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Serving Khao Man Gai Street Food Style

Ok, so once you have all the components ready, the fun part of this recipe is assembling a full plate of authentic Thai style khao man gai .

I normally take a small soup bowl, fill it with rice, pat it down, and then empty it onto a serving plate, so the rice has the bowl formation.

Cutting up the chicken

Then you want slice up your chicken using a nice sharp cleaver. I love to use Kiwi knives!

The easiest thing to do is to cut off the legs and thighs and wings, and then depending on if you want white or dark meat, you can slice off the chicken breasts, or debone the meat from the thigh.

The Thai way is to get your chicken, give it a smash with the side of a cleaver to flatten it out, and then chop it into bite sized pieces. Then place your chicken on top of the pile of rice.

Khao man gai served!

You can then take a cucumber, slice a few wedges, and serve it next to the chicken and rice.

Same goes with cilantro, often just a few sprigs of cilantro will be sprinkled on top. But I like to eat a whole handful of it.

Heres how to serve a proper portion of khao man gai , Thai street food style
Thai khao man gai!

Dish out a bowl of soup, put some sauce into a small sauce bowl, and you have just served up an authentic plate of khao man gai !

In Thailand you normally eat with a spoon and fork, where your spoon is the main tool, and your fork is there to just shovel bites onto your spoon.

I like to drown every bite in sauce

In 2003 Nongs Founder Nong Poonsukwattana Left Bangkok And Arrived In Portland Oregon With Just $70 In Her Pocket And Two Suitcases In Her Hands

And a few years later, she shared some of Bangkok with her new home by opening a food cart selling one traditional dish she spent ages mastering: khao man gai. Related to a dish rooted in Chinese and Malaysian cuisine, Thai khao man gaia comforting boiled chicken and rice plateis accompanied by a delicious soy-based sauce. Poonsukwattana makes hers using a recipe passed down from her mother.

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Red Beans With Nongs Khao Man Gai Sauce

15 minutes active cooking 20 minutes total + bean cooking

Makes 6 – 8 servings

An Instagram post about a restaurant in San Francisco using Rancho Gordo beans instead of meat in the Thai salad called larb inspired this simple bean dish. Its also one of our favorite ways to make a quick, easy, flavorful meal by combining a pantry staple – beans, rice, pasta – with a jarred condiment or sauce.

We like to think everyone has a batch of cooked beans in the refrigerator, and that makes this come together quickly. If you dont, cook a pot ahead of time or make this when you have time to let them simmer for a few hours.

Once you have the beans, just fry some shallots, and open a bottle of Nongs Khao Man Gai sauce. The tangy, sweet flavor hints of classic barbecue beans, but the subtle Thai flavors of ginger and chiles make them even more tasty. Take a pot of these beans to your next cookout and see if anyone can guess whats in them. Or be like Jim and just eat them all yourself.

Step 1

Cook the shallots in 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet until well-browned, about 5 minutes.

Step 2

If the cooked beans have a lot of liquid, use a slotted spoon to add them to the shallots. Some liquid is fine, but you dont want this to be soupy. If necessary, cook the beans and shallots together until any excess liquid has been reduced.

Step 3

Add 1 cup of Nongs sauce and cook for a few minutes longer. Taste and add salt if needed.

Vietnamese Coffee And Thai Iced Tea


Nong’s Vietnamese coffee is made with Stumptown beans. It’s smooth and sweet, without any burnt or bitter notes. The Thai iced tea is also tasty, and made with enough sweetened condensed milk that it could easily qualify as dessert.

Speaking of which, the one item that wasn’t available during my visit was Pandan flavored soft-serve ice cream. The kitchen staff is playing around with various flavors , but like the crispy chicken skins, demand often exceeds supply.

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