1. Homok — There’s nothing quite like it in town, a light-as-helium mousse made from fish, egg, and coconut milk, curried to a deep shade of orange and utterly irresistible.
This week, Counter Culture swims into Chao Thai Too, the spinoff of Chao Thai and every bit as good, offering dishes from all over the country, with a special emphasis on Isaan in particular and Northern Thailand in general. Here are five crackerjack menu selections.
2. Sai-Ua — This Northern Thai sausage might look like an oddly shaped meat loaf, but the subtle herbiness and intriguing texture will make you remember it the day after. Furnished with fresh herbs, chiles, and lettuce for wrapping.
3. Fried Snake Head — This terror of freshwaters has sharp teeth, but you’ll be amazed at how mellow the flesh is, especially when dipped in the sour and salty sauce in the rear of the ship. The bones are nice and crunchy, too.
4. Crispy Ground Catfish and Mango Salad — Tendrils of tart fruit, peanuts, onions, herbs, green chiles, and little crunchy wads of sun-dried catfish in a citrus dressing, every ingredient ramping up the texture and flavor of this remarkable dish.
5. Black Egg Mix Ginger Salad — Even if it’s not Halloween, you’ll want to try this toss-up featuring the mysterious black egg, which glints darkly in the bottom of the boat. And not only does the salad feature ginger, but it also includes the cousin of ginger called galangal for extra, over-the-top pungency.
Chao Thai Too
83-47 Dongan Avenue
Follow me on Twitter if you dare — @robertsietsema
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 18, 2012