“Pete” Pibul Pratumwon brings flavors of his homeland to Mahtomedi
The full article originally appeared in White Bear Lake Magazine in March 2015
By Renee Stewart-Hester
Before he was Pete, he called himself Pom Pom or Barry. And before that, his Thai mother named him Pibul. “I’m a man of many names,” he says. He’s also a man who learned to subsist on less than a dollar a day, to persist in climbing his way up the restaurant ranks and, on occasion, outlast immigration searches by altering his name. “I learned how to survive,” he says.
At 4 years old, Pibul Pratumwon learned to carefully harvest vegetables from a community garden. He understood how to gently pick basil leaves, bringing them back to his mother, who would cook for her six children and husband, all living in a two-bedroom duplex on a military compound where his parents worked in Saraburi, Thailand.
Pibul “Pete” Pratumwon Recipes
Healthy Lettuce Wrap
- 1/2 lb. ground pork
- 1/2 lb. shrimp, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup sweet onion, diced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2-3 T. hoisin sauce
- 3 T. good soy sauce
- 2 T. rice wine vinegar
- 1 T. fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 1-2 tsp. hot sauce (Sriracha)
- 8 oz. water chestnuts, drained and medium chopped
- 3-4 T. cooking oil
- 4 green onion, thinly sliced white part
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 head(s) of lettuce (baby romaine preferred)
Heat cooking oil in the saucepan over medium-high heat. Brown ground pork and shrimp until no longer pink. Drain excess juice. Turn the meat mixture back in the same saucepan, stir in garlic, onion, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ginger and Sriracha sauce. Cook until onions are translucent. Stir in the remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper.
To serve, spoon several spoonfuls of mixture into the center of a lettuce leaf and wrap taco-style.