The signature dish for this New York City sandwich shop is num pang, a flavorful and unusual Cambodian sandwich, after which the authors Ratha Chaupoly and Ben Daitz named their establishment. They decided to share their recipes in their cookbook, Nam Pang. This is basically a Cambodian cookbook written for American cooks to American taste. The basis of the cookbook is their signature sandwich having four key ingredients: fresh cucumber, cilantro, chili mayo and pickled carrots (the last two you easily prepare yourself). The book is certainly not written for beginner cooks; you need time, patience, and a fairly long list of ingredients for many dishes. And for some recipes (a chicken salad, for example) you will need as many as five previous preparations. Recipe writing is good, accompanying text is useful and interesting, as well as the many sidebars called “Know This” throughout the book (get fresh with your fish; the secret to crispy fish skin). Too bad the book designer split some recipes with illustrations making it rather inconvenient to follow. The recipes are not restricted to sandwiches; they range the whole spectrum of kitchen dishes, except desserts. If you are into Cambodian (or ethnic) cooking, this is a good choice.
Reviewed By: George Erdosh