Andy Ricker's Pok Pok has us blown away for a few reasons. The food is genuinely exciting. The flavors are unrelentingly bold. And there are ingredients we've never seen before, even in the city's best Thai restaurants. After an eye-opening meal at his restaurant, we asked Andy to show us some of those special ingredients in his pantry.
Even in New York, finding all these ingredients isn't easy. They're sourced from boutique farmers, markets in Thailand, and personal connections ("my friend X's sister grows these"). Many only come from one source; if the guy from Florida can't deliver that day, some items on the menu may have to change. We got a look at some of those ingredients, including crazy puckery herbs, fermented shrimp paste, and a spice blend that's "the mother lode of holy grail shit." Check out the slideshow for some Thai spices, herbs, and vegetables you won't find anywhere else.