Pop quiz: What makes this insanely huge Thai bao wrap a standout example of flavor?
Hint: look at the colors.
Still guessing? OK, I’ll explain. This wrap is literally 50% braised pork and 50% pickled vegetables. Now, some of you might be thinking, “50%?? Holy hell, that’s a lot of pickles!” But check this out:
Whoever designed this dish took an honest look at their braised pork, and understood that there was a surprising amount of fish sauce in it, which made for a super salty, umami-rich experience. Enough fat and salt and savoriness to push it over the edge for some people.
Basically, it was overwhelmingly savory… If such a thing is possible. ?
An easy way to cut through all of that fat and salt is… a huge pile of pickled carrots, daikon, and cabbage. Plus a creamy cilantro dressing with lots of green flavor, a fluffy cloud of cilantro greens, and an extra lime wedge to push it over the top and into #flavortown.
The first bite of this wrap was an incredible experience of every possible awesome flavor sensation I can think of. Amazing. Despite how fatty and salty and fishy the pork was, it was not overpowering because of the vegetables.
Basically, keeping the pork and the vegetables in equal amounts assured that every big bite of pork got an equally big bite of tart vegetables as well.
Sometimes being balanced means doing something unexpected and stepping outside of your comfort zone. In this case, it was a kid with a huge ice cream scoop full of pickled vegetables. ??