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Khao Sarn dish, Crispey Shredded Catfish

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Khao Sarn dish, Crispey Shredded Catfish

galleygirl | May 16, 2002 03:01 PM

I introduced another friend to Khao Sarn last night, and we shared the always exemplary Miang Kum and Steamed Sea Bass with Three Chilis, which was huge, in the spring....

I've always wanted to try the Yum Pla Duke Fu, described on the menu as "Crispey fried catfish, deep-fried until crispey and delicately mixed with slivers of green mango, red onion, hot chili and lemon dressing". What they didn't mention was the roasted peanuts and generous amount of cashews; lovely..But, shock of shocks, I didn't like it. However, I do want to post about it, because from what I've read on other boards about "Crispey pork" and "fuzzy pork", this could be a very authentic, hard to find dish, and other people may need to try it!

The catfish is steamed, then deep-fried, but it's all crispey bits, very light and porous, not oiley...It doesn't taste like catfish, it doesn't even taste like fish..thready, crunchy, nutty...Served with the nuts, dried peppers, onion, a little lettuce, a little mango...Definitely NOT a salad dish like the green papaya salad, which I was kind of expecting, but with fried catfish instead...

It was a very intriguing combination of flavors, so intense, it would have almost been better as an app, shared among, say 4 people..I know Lindsay B mentioned the same dish at Thai cuisine awhile ago, do they sound similar? Is this authentic? Have others been looking for this as a bellweather of Northern Thai?

Oh, and another off menu treat; there is a huge infusion crock of "Chinese Tonic" on the bar, whiskey mixed with ginseng and 12 different Chinese herbs...It's not on the menu, but you can ask for it even if you're not at the bar..We only noticed it on the way out, or we would have self-medicated! Limited to 3 shots per day, so you don't get "out of balance!"

BTW, Psmith, even tho the Yen Ta Fo soup is only on the lunch menu, they will make it at dinner.

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