Portland, Oregon: Nong’s Khao Man Gai

SW 10th and Alder
Portland, OR 97205
(971) 255-3480

During our last half day in Portland, Anita and I nibbled around at different food carts in downtown, Portland. The most notable food cart we visited was Nong’s Khao Man Gai. Nong’s specialty is Khao Man Gai which is Thailand’s version of Hainanese chicken, which incidentally also reminds me of a Vietnamese chicken and rice dish. The dish depends a lot on the quality and moistness of the chicken since there are not a lot of spices that could help save otherwise mediocre chicken. The chicken is the star!

Chicken & Rice, $7

And yes the poached organic chicken was very delicious, but what really blew me away was her ginger sauce, made with fermented soybeans, ginger, garlic, Thai chilis, vinegar, house made syrup and soy sauce. The chicken and rice were both so well cooked that they could stand on their own, but that sauce kicked up this lunch experience. I was so tempted to take that extra 1 ounce condiment cup back home to Austin with me. It does pass the TSA guidelines on liquids! The Khao Man Gai also comes with a small cup of light broth. It reminded me again of my mom’s cooking. A sweet broth with a bitter hint. Refreshing.

We noticed Nong had a photo of herself with Austin’s own, Paul Qui on her food cart and struck up conversation with her about it. She was invited to collaborate with him during SXSW 2013 but wasn’t able to make it down to Austin. Maybe 2014!

I honestly cannot recommend every eatery I tried in Portland, but this is one of my “must visits” in Portland! Stay tuned to hear more about other “must visits”.