Sarah brought the heat while recreating some of Night + Market's iconic dishes in this month's episode of Cooking the Books.
Long story short: I think this book was under-edited. Some of the ingredients were listed at the bottoms of the pages in light blue or purple which — don't get me wrong, looks cool — but makes it pretty easy to forget those items when creating a grocery list.
The photos often depicted significant variation from the recipe which made it hard to know what to expect. The format also required a lot of flipping back and forth between recipes for a single dish, which can make it easy to miss a step.
That being said, when the dishes finally came together they were packed with flavor and absolutely delicious. Not exactly what you would get at the restaurant, but pretty damn close and Kris usually offers a unique wine pairing suggestion to go with your meal.
A Little Extra Background
We just moved to Los Angeles.
Between the long drive, our belongings still in transit, and having spotty electricity we needed to figure out meals on the fly. It was the perfect opportunity to try some new restaurants.
I'd been eyeing the Night + Market cookbook for this series for a few months — drawn in initially by the bright colors and vibrant photography. So, when we arrived in LA, the first place on my "Must-Eat" list was Night + Market.
One taste of the khao soi and I went home needing to cook more of their dishes pronto. Within the first week of our things arriving I cracked open this book and started mapping out the dishes I would make.
Khao soi and tom khar gai were top priorities and took a little extra time, but turned out just as I'd hoped: spicy, warming, and packed with flavor.
The hiccups that I experienced during my week (aside from those induced by spiciness) boiled down to recipe formatting issues. Missing ingredients that weren’t clearly visible, having to navigate multiple recipes at once to make the sauces, and an inconsistent level of detail throughout made some meals trickier than others.
The book does a good job of explaining why the restaurant exists, what the intention is behind the food, and how it evolved over the years... but where it struggles is accessibility to home cooks.
Therefore, I ultimately think that if you’re a fan of Night + Market's restaurants and you're up for a culinary adventure well worth the effort, add this book to your shelf.
If you’ve never been to the Night + Market restaurant...
1. Get yourself to LA.
2. Order a spicy margarita, a bowl of khao soi, and some coconut rice.
3. See above, because it's damn near impossible to not leave the restaurant as a fan.