Something Inside of Us Sleeps, The Sleeper Must Awaken

Head to South Lake Union for Seattle’s only Lao foods truck and other delectable, inexpensive lunches

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If you have never tried out Lao foodstuff, a cease at Tuk Tuk Cell Feast, Seattle’s only Lao food stuff truck, desires to be on your checklist of to-dos.

Siri Martinet, a person 50 percent of the mastermind duo guiding Tuk Tuk, remaining Laos as a refugee when she was 12. Following settling down in Hawaii, Martinet went to college or university in Oregon and then moved to the Seattle space. “I did the company work, had a household and was a stay-at-household mom for a while, far too,” she reported.

With an empty nest the moment her kids grew up, Martinet decided to adhere to her enthusiasm and go to culinary college. Now she’s been cooking skillfully for the past 10 several years.

The inspiration to open up a food truck came when Martinet satisfied Jacob Devaul whilst they had been both equally performing at a catering firm. The pair became quick buddies, bonding over their shared love for the culinary earth and Martinet’s appreciate for her family members recipes. In 2018, they quit their work opportunities and started out Tuk Tuk with a target to share with the Emerald City the foodstuff Martinet grew up having.

“You glance close to and there is not anyplace that we can go as a spouse and children to enjoy Lao food items, and a great deal of persons out there experience the identical way,” Martinet reported.

With rotating specials like sai ua (sausage), tom khem (braised pork) and nam khao (crispy rice), Tuk Tuk’s menu only incorporates a handful of preset goods. Whilst little, the menu contains flavors Martinet’s relatives applied in their cooking in Laos, like the smashed garlic and Thai chilies in the pad ga prao (rooster basil stir-fry $11), the foodstuff truck’s most preferred entree.

“You go from family members to family, and the exact same dish would style different involving family members since it is a little something that is really one of a kind to that family. These flavors are the matters that I grew up taking in. It is what I’m utilised to, and that is what I’m sharing,” Martinet claimed.

I’m not commonly a enthusiast of runny egg yolk (unpopular viewpoint, I know), but it was great in the pad ga prao. The hen, floor by Martinet and Devaul in property with basil, spicy chilies, garlic and oyster sauce, is an explosion of flavor. If you consider the pad ga prao, make absolutely sure to get a minimal bit of each individual part of the dish in a single chunk. The yolk perfectly binds bites of steaming jasmine rice and meat. Oh, and pro suggestion: Martinet and Devaul suggest inquiring for a side of fish sauce.

I also attempted the sai ua ($8), or the sausage specific. On 1st bite, I tasted a symphony of herbs.

“The Lao sausage is extremely, extremely herbaceous,” Martinet explained with a chuckle.

Cilantro, citrus, lemon grass and shallots took centre phase in the sai ua. Like the chicken in the pad ga prao, Martinet and Devaul make the sausages in residence by grinding their have pork. They also hand reduce the herbs and hand stuff the sausages.

“It’s not anything exactly where we acquire a finished item every thing is something that we do ourselves,” she said.

While time consuming, it is worthy of it — the finished product is practically nothing less than exceptional. Served with sticky rice and jaew mak len (a dip built by roasting shallots, garlic, tomatoes and chilies, smashing them into a paste and ending with a seasoning of fish sauce and sugar), the sausage is a effectively-rounded dish that is sweet, fresh and spicy all at the moment.

“But not offensively spicy,” Martinet explained. “Our foodstuff surely has spice in it, but it’s really friendly, and we want it to be obtainable and keeping true to the flavors that we use [in Laos].”

As Seattle’s only Lao food stuff truck, Tuk Tuk has a pursuing of loyal clients, and Martinet finds her interactions with them the most satisfying. “We know them by name, and we want to serve foods that individuals crave and they’re heading to want to appear back for,” she said. “We are just two cooks who like to cook dinner. We like to cook dinner and share our meals.”

Tuk Tuk Mobile Feast: Spot varies, obtain timetable online

Additional neighborhood eats


I’m not kidding when I say South Lake Union is the land of rapid and easy lunches. Everywhere you search, you will see someone holding a to-go box of foodstuff. Boren Avenue North is a food items-truck haven — I counted seven on a the latest Tuesday just just before 1 p.m. within a two-block radius of Tuk Tuk, and Bentoful occurs to be positioned in the making adjacent to Tuk Tuk’s household on the corner of Boren and Republican Road.

If you’re in a hurry, Bentoful is fantastic. You never have to worry about navigating a crowd at a cafe throughout the lunchtime rush just area your get on the kiosk and it is prepared in a lot less than 5 minutes.

The menu is plentiful. With a variety of sides, bases and entrees, there are easily above 100 lunch mixtures to decide on from. I picked a big bento box with bulgogi, kimchi fried rice, yakisoba, egg rolls, meatballs and eggplant (the significant bento box starts at $15).

The sweetness of the bulgogi meat, topped with sesame seeds and chopped environmentally friendly onion, paired perfectly with bites of the spicy kimchi fried rice. I also genuinely loved the pan-fried eggplant and its hints of sesame oil and pepper.

When I opened my containers (and as you could comprehend just after examining the laundry list of products I purchased), I understood the large arrived with a great deal of food stuff. If you are dining solo or just searching for a speedy chunk to take in, you can simply make your meal smaller by opting for the modest or medium bento containers. Just like bringing a packed lunch someplace from household, a person of my most loved elements of this food was having fun with the emotion of obtaining my food packaged into properly compartmentalized containers — simple, moveable and mouth watering.

11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday 501 Fairview Ave. N., Seattle 206-623-3432