Actually, for the sauce, I added filtered fish sauce, tripled the amount of garlic, and used the good part of a rotting onion instead of going to the store to buy a fresh one, and it turned out really, really well.
I tried using a cast iron Lodge pan and an aluminum baking pan, and the latter was predictably much inferior to the former because the crust stuck to it pretty badly.
In Thailand, any cheese is expensive, and the one called for in the recipe is unavailable where we live, so we used a cheap pre-shredded mix. It was most excellent. The sweet Thai basil was also a great match.
Next time, I must find a bigger, better alternative to the baking pan.
There’s a new butcher shop between my house and work that opened half a year ago. They sell pork only. The quality of meat is better than anywhere else, and the prices are cheaper as well… So I’m in there a couple times a week.
Most Thais do not like the well-marbled cuts that I go after, so there are usually a few choice ones in the displays. The staff will also go get whatever you want from the back, if it’s not on display.
I asked them about a whole pig last week, and they gave me a number to call… I’m toying with the idea of a barbecue pit. Just need to find a steady supply of my favorite lamyai wood.
But there are so many basic types and specific variants, as well as imported and domestically produced brands, it’s mind-boggling. Referring to any specific type as just “fish sauce” could be quite disastrous, depending on the context (who put pla dak in the nam pla?).
Bonus shot: Ultra dope station wagon in the Costco parking lot.