y4pcT1JaIwGptQJPO6l_mZmgv34 tiffin unboxed: Crunchy, Salty, Spicy, Savory Treats

Crunchy, Salty, Spicy, Savory Treats

In the carb-loaded Comfort Foods series of posts I recently wrote, it dawned on  me that a lot of focus was spent on things I eat only occasionally.

Day to day, my favorite comfort treats lean on the salty side and comprise mostly Asian food.

It's only fair that some of those favorites get some foodie love too.

Cacao Apr12_soft shell crab taco

In a prior post on Cacao Mexicatessen, I shared many of my favorite dishes there. Somehow I left out the occasional fried soft shell crab taco weekly special.

The taco contains a whole, seasoned and fried soft shell crab on a bed of cabbage, avocado slices, a chile arbol crema, cilantro, scallions and a slice of lime over warm, handmade corn tortillas.

It covers soft, crunchy, fresh and acidic all in the same bite. Even after a 15 minute drive home in a closed container, it looked this good at home and stayed crunchy.

One of my go-to foods when I want to instantly feel better is Thai food. I recently discovered Wat Dong Moon Lek with northern Thai street food, similar to Yai, another favorite of mine. In fact, they told me at Wat Dong Moon Lek that their chef came from Yai. It make's sense.

One of their popular dishes, the Crispy Pork Belly with Green Beans. This dish provides a crunchy meaty bite, crispy green beans, whole Thai basil leaves and a fragrant sauce to pour over the rice that intoxicates.

While we are on Thai comfort food, it's hard to leave out Jitlada's southern Thai food. How can I pick from the dozens of uniquely tasty and fiercely spicy dishes at Jitlada?

Let me begin with a match made in heaven - fried salad! The Crispy Morning Glory Salad of deep fried, lightly battered Chinese greens with fresh shrimp, sliced red onions and spicy house dressing appeals to all senses with its crunch and freshness rolled into one.

The Crying Tiger beef or pork brings that grilled flavor to tender cuts of meat. This dish, featured on Food Network’s “Best Thing I Ever Ate: Hot & Spicy” episode appears on almost every table at the restaurant.

I can't guarantee the availability of the off-menu Thai hamburger. The juicy beef patty mixed with palm sugar and garlic comes caramelized and crunchy on the outside. 

The burger comes "protein style" a la In-n-Out Burger's secret menu, wrapped with iceberg lettuce. Toppings include sauce, tomato slice, onions and Thai basil.

My barometer to judge all Thai restaurants is usually crispy catfish, something I've eaten with my family throughout my life. Jitlada's version called Krabee, bone-in catfish with dry chili sauce, green beans and crispy basil holds its own.

And finally, who can resist, a platter of of whole fried seabass with basil leaves and a chili mango sauce (or Thai red curry), served by super charming Proprietor Jazz Singnasong? My friends' expressions upon arrival of the fish says it all!

These mostly Asian, mostly seafood (well, surf and turf) dishes represent a handful of protein comfort foods around town that I enjoy. Each place offers many additional choices.

2 Responses to “Crunchy, Salty, Spicy, Savory Treats”:

  1. The Crispy Pork Belly with Green Beans really got me drooling!;) The crunchy and savory food from Bangkok is the main reason why I always have an awesome Thai travel every time I go to Thailand.

  2. Hello Devils Den,
    Yes, that dish is definitely drool-worthy. Great textures and aromatics. The food in Bangkok when I've been there was out of this world, so I understand your love of Thai food! Thanks for your comment.

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