Every summer, chef-owner Tyler Akin adds salads and cold-noodle dishes to the menu at Fishtown's Stock, the cozy Vietnamese BYO best known for meticulously crafted bowls of pho and its bahn mi sandwiches.
This year, he created a vibrant Khao Soi-inspired cold-noodle dish, modeled after the traditional soup and noodles found in parts of Northern Thailand. Whereas classic Khao Soi is served hot, Stock's version is cold and served without broth.
Akin said it took some experimenting to get the flavors right for the coconut milk-based sauce, which is made with fresh turmeric and black cardamom. The meal is also seasoned with coriander, Thai chili, and scallions, and served over noodles with dark-meat chicken and pickled mustard greens, with a few bites of crunch on top.
The result is an addictive, sweet-spicy taste that coats the cold noodles. The sweetness from the coconut is cut with bites of cilantro and slivers of chili peppers, and the heat builds as you eat.
"It hits all the notes people associate with good Thai food," Akin said, "sour, sweet, salty, and spicy."