Try and put Slim Jim and other desiccated jerkies that languish on convenience store shelves out of your mind. Once you accomplish that small feat, order the far superior Laotian pork jerky at Kop Jai Lai in Mission Hills.
Vientiane native Mannie Sithammavong is the chef-owner at this welcoming strip mall restaurant with a name that translates to English as “thank you very much.” She serves a wealth of Laotian dishes, including share-friendly Pork Jerky ($9). Sithammavong slices and marinates pork with a savory, umami rich blend of fish sauce, rice powder, soy sauce, and white pepper. She dehydrates the strips for eight hours, but they’re far from dry, even after deep-frying. Kop Jai Lai serves the jerky with a sweet and sour sauce made with fish sauce and chiles. Dip the deep red meat and repeat.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.