After spending a year working in kitchens throughout Southeast Asia, Top Chef alum Leah Cohen brought the region’s cuisine to Manhattan’s Lower East Side with the opening of Pig & Khao in 2012. Today, the homey restaurant is as popular as ever, largely thanks to the menu’s latest addition, Hotteok.
Hotteok -- a popular Korean street food -- is a pancake that’s typically filled with savory noodles or something sweeter like brown sugar and cinnamon. For her latest twist on the tasting menu-only dish (a previous iteration involved pad Thai), Cohen stuffed the cakes with braised and seasoned short rib, potato puree, and sautéed kale all folded up in dough, pan fried until crispy, and topped with a spicy curry sauce.
If you’re looking for something sweeter, there’s also Halo-Halo, a popular dessert from the Philippines that Cohen describes as “a bowl of cereal on crack.” It’s made from a base of shaved ice topped with homemade flan, sweetened plantains, and a variety of ingredients including macapuno (a jelly-like version or coconut), ube ice cream (purple yam), and pinipig (toasted flat rice).
Watch the video above to learn how you can experience a new take on the Far East right on the Lower East Side.
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