Piyarat Arreeratn, aka Chef Bee, grew up in Chieng Rai, Thailand, and runs Oishi Thai with his family in North Miami. My friend Ben introduced me to his favorite chef in the city during my bi-annual sojourn to the land of turquoise and orange. At Oishi, which resides in a strip mall, he serves upscale Thai food and sushi, since he previously worked for chef Nobu Matsuhisa. In South Beach’s up-and-coming Sunset Harbor neighborhood, he just signed a lease on a space which will become NaiYaRa, a restaurant that will showcase more Northern Thai style street food in a space named for Chef Bee’s daughter. On December 20, he treated us to several dishes that will appear on NaiYaRa’s menu, including pork stew.
Whom Muu is a dish that Chef Bee’s mom made when he was growing up, and I can see why he still craves it. The herbaceous dish involves tender slices of bone-in pork chop that simmer low and slow in a layered yellow sauce that Chef Bee crafts from turmeric powder, shallots, lemongrass, Kaffir lime leaves, fermented shrimp paste, red chili curry paste, and large cuts of galangal root. The pungent, cilantro-strewn stew packs bright flavors and will hopefully find an audience on South Beach, an area that seems more interested in scene than good food.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.