Recipe courtesy of Andy Ricker

Pok Pok - Khao Man Som Tam

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  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 2 hr 30 min
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 2 to 4 servings, with leftovers
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One 5-ounce portion Muu Waan Sweet Pork, recipe follows

One 5-ounce scoop Coconut Rice, packed flat, recipe follows

1/2 order Papaya Pok Pok, recipe follows

1 cabbage wedge, shredded

1 tablespoon shallots, fried

1 small handful cilantro, picked

Muun Waan:

One 12-pound pork butt

2 cups sweet soy

2 cups thin soy

2 tablespoons medium-fine ground white pepper

One 16-ounce package palm sugar, such as Golden Chef

Coconut Rice:

7 to 8 cups water

1 3/4 cups (14 ounces) Fresh Coconut Milk, recipe follows

6 tablespoons superfine sugar

2 teaspoons kosher salt

8 cups jasmine rice, rinsed with 1/4 teaspoon lime paste and drained


10 to 12 cups water

2 1/2 cups coconut cream

9 tablespoons superfine sugar

3 teaspoons kosher salt

12 cups jasmine rice, rinsed with 1/4 teaspoon lime paste, drained

Papaya Pok Pok:

3 to 6 chiles, coarsely chopped

3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

1 packed scoop palm sugar

6 to 8 dried shrimp, washed

8 to 10 long beans, cut into 2-inch pieces

1 1/2 ounces dressing, your choice

1 cup (about 1 white rice bowl) loosely packed shredded papaya

6 to 8 halves cherry tomato

1 heaping tablespoon chopped roasted peanuts


  1. Heat the Muu Waan Sweet Pork in microwave for 1 minute 15 seconds in a shallow microwavable dish. Put a scoop of rice on a medium oval plate. Put the cabbage on one end of the oval and put the Papaya Pok Pok salad next to or on top of the cabbage. Put Muu Waan Sweet Pork on top of the rice in a strip and garnish with shallots and cilantro. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Muun Waan:

  1. Clean the excess fat and gristle from the pork butt and cut it into 1-inch thick pieces. Cut along the grain of meat so that long strands will form when the meat is shredded. Marinate the pork pieces in sweet soy. Put the pork in a rondeau, or another round straight-walled pan. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat, cover the pot and cook slowly until pork is almost tender. Turn the heat to high and reduce the liquid until relatively dry, leaving more of a glaze than a liquid. Roughly shred the pork with a stiff whisk and spatula. Do not wait until pork is already falling apart to reduce the liquid. This will produce a dry and tough product. If the pork is accidentally cooked all the way before reducing the liquid, remove the meat from liquid and reduce separately, then return the meat to the pot.


  1. Adjust water amount according to the newness of the rice (if the rice is newer then less water will be required). In a rice cooker, combine the water, coconut milk or coconut cream, sugar and salt and mix until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Add the drained rice, and mix thoroughly, making sure the rice is level in the cooker. Cook the rice according to the cooker instructions. 
  2. Fresh Coconut Milk: Thaw grated coconut. Remove the coconut from the bags, and add to a large bowl. Add 3 cups water per 16-ounce bag of grated coconut. Allow to sit until the water is absorbed, about 1/2 hour. Press the coconut twice through a fine strainer, using the milk from the first pressing to moisten the coconut again, then strain for the last time.

Papaya Pok Pok:

  1. Smash the chiles, garlic and palm sugar in a mortar and pestle until the garlic is well ground; do this firmly but not violently. Add the shrimp, mash lightly and then add the long beans. Smash them gently, just to break them up. Add the dressing and the papaya. Combine the ingredients thoroughly without mashing the papaya. Add the tomatoes and crush to release their juices. Stir in the peanuts and combine well. The taste should be sour, salty, sweet and spicy in good balance. The texture should be crunchy and slightly pink in color. Make no more than two servings at a time!

Cook’s Note

Add more or less chiles according to your heat preference.