Love Letter: Goi Bo Tai Chanh

beef salad
Salads are vastly underrepresented on restaurant menus, and when they are there they are often so cheese and dressing laden that all health benefits are erased.

This is one of my favorite salads. The main ingredient: raw beef. It is supposedly “cured” with lemon, in the same way that ceviche is sorta-cooked by citrus. It changes the proteins or some such. Some refer to it as Vietnamese carpaccio.

Besides the lemon it is dressed with a light touch of sesame oil and fish sauce. ┬áThe beef is tender and not bloody tasting at all. The rest of the salad is composed of big hunks of jalapeno, red onion, a little fresh ginger, cilantro, Thai basil (hung que in Vietnamese), fried shallots (hanh phi), and peanuts. Was rhau ram in there maybe? I can’t remember.

It’s garnished with some of those baked sesame banh trang crackers (which wikipedia is telling me are a Northern Vietnamese thing – thanks again wikipedia for making me look smart!).

It’s got that rustic, vital, herbal thing going on that I love about Vietnamese food soooo much.

Where do you get it? Only one place I know of for sure: Pho King #2. Does anyone know of other places that serve it?

Pho King 2
6830 Stockton Blvd.

Back of the House

Everyone's a Critic

Comments are now closed.