Welcome back to Chef in the Kitchen, a recurring Eater photo feature. Eater photographer Rey Lopez boldly goes where few diners have gone before — into D.C. restaurant kitchens — to get a sneak peek of the chef du jour hard at work.
Chef Seng Luangrath, Eater's 2015 Chef of the Year, has been introducing the city to Lao cooking, particularly since Thip Khao opened in Columbia Heights. Here, Luangrath makes muu som, a dish of rice-cured, fermented pork.
Luangrath subs pork belly for the normal cuts of pork in the traditional dish. The fermenting process takes between seven and ten days in the walk-in fridge. Some of the produce used here, from the chili peppers and lemongrass, were from her own home garden. Other components include kaffir lime leaves and fried red shallots. Find the dish on Thip Khao's jungle menu for $13.