Whenever I eat Gai Tot Gratiem Prik Thai, tender slices of bite-sized chicken infused with garlic and white pepper, Dom’s teenage sister Oi dances into my mind.
When we were in Bangkok, Dom and I would have lunch with Dom’s mom and Oi every other Sunday.
We usually went to a restaurant in Siam Square, a popular shopping area in central Bangkok, because Oi took street dance krumping classes nearby.
Oi would wear her i-Pod, a cool big T-shirt emblazoned with a famous Thai singer’s face, stylin’ dance sneakers and tight jeans. And she would usually always order Moo Tot Gratiem Prik Thai (she loved pork, but I love chicken, you can use either meat in this recipe).
With her fork, she would maneuver just enough rice, pork, garlic pieces and pepper-hinted sauce onto her spoon. She would eat sort of quickly, so she could make it to her dance class, but not too quickly to look uncool.
After saying a few words to us, a smile would finally tug at her lips as she got to leave us boring people and go DANCE.
We would all meet her a little before the class ended. Dom and I loved peeking at her through the dance class window. She came alive as she broke it down like she was a dancing star on Step Up.
Oi is now 17 and about to start college. I haven’t seen her for three years, but I can’t wait for October when our baby is born, and she hopefully comes with Dom’s mom to visit. I didn’t get to know her much before because she was shy and a teeen-ager…but I always knew since she loved Garlic and Pepper Pork so much that my dancing queen sister-n-law had good taste.
Oi is in the front with the white shoes
Garlic, and lots of it, is essential to many Thai dishes, especially at our house since garlic is one of Dom’s best friends that must be with him at every meal. I love how this is such a simple dish, with such flavor. Try and tell me what you think!