TODAY’S LUNCH: GRILLED KING MACKEREL WITH LEEKS FROM NUM PANG

lunch

I was near University Place today around lunch time, which often means NUM PANG!  Regular readers of NYSF know about my love of Num Pang, and it’s been a couple of months, so there was no question about Today’s Lunch, other than what to order.

Num Pang is located at 21 East 12th St between 5th Ave and University Place.  I haven’t written about Num Pang recently, so for our newer readers, Num Pang is in the Honorary Street Food category.  This means a storefront with little or no seating that serves food traditionally known as street food in their home country – in this case Cambodia. Num Pang is basically a Cambodian variation on banh mi.

Today’s Lunch is a grilled king mackerel sandwich with leeks and thai-basil infused olive oil ($8.45 incl tax) from Num Pang.  Yes, it was as good as it sounds, and there are more details after the jump.

There were 2 pieces of fish on the sandwich, and the mackerel was light, flaky and moist.  This provided a good canvas for the usual Num Pang fixings – shredded carrot, cilantro, cucumber and chili mayo.
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The cilantro and chili mayo were the predominant tastes besides the fish, and they went really well with a white, flaky fish like mackerel.  The coolness of the cucumbers and carrots added some contrast and texture, while the leeks added a minor note to the overall taste.

The chili mayo can sometimes be pretty hot, but it didn’t seem that hot today.  Maybe I’m just getting used to it.

The sandwiches are on toasted rolls, which maintain their firmness but are not too crunchy.

Today’s Lunch was one of the best lunches for under $10 that you can get.  There’s a reason I keep going back to Num Pang – because it’s one of the best damn sandwiches around!  Good thing I don’t live a little closer to Num Pang, or I’d be ordering dinner in from here on a regular basis.

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