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Jan 7, 2003 08:31 AM

Another Chicago Thai Menu for translation Help

  • z

Well foodfirst did such an amazing job on the last thai menu and it has really impacted the thia eating of a number of chicago chowhounds, I hoped that another of these menus could be translated.

So can anyone help us with this one?

thanks so much


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  1. Unfortunately I don't have a printer at my disposal right now and the Secret Menu (SM) is real hard to read from my computer. But my eye was drawn to two items when I perused it real quickly. Both are under the 3rd heading (Tom, phad, gaeng etc. -- boiled, fried, curries, etc):

    First item, top left column is Khao Kluk Kapi (rice mixed with shrimp paste). On the partially translated menu it's noted as "shrimp paste fried rice" which doesn't quite describe the dish if it's prepared as it should be. The rice is more often mixed (stirred) with the shrimp paste right after it's cooked -- it shouldn't be fried. It's served with a mind-boggling assortment of garnishes: fried Chinese sausage, "sweet" fried pork (muu waan), perhaps some other meats, fried shallots, fried garlic, maybe some fresh cilantro and chopped scallions, a variety of chopped fresh veggies eg. long beans and cucumber, the usual namcim (sauces) of chili in vinegar and chili in fish sauce, dried chiles, and in Thailand, shredded guava (a good sour Granny Smith apple might be an acceptable substitute). You dish up the rice, which is probably a little smelly and tasting heavily of shrimp paste but if made with a deft hand not too salty, and add the garnishes and mix. As you spoon it up you are probably eating a larger proportion of garnishes than rice, so keep adding more of your favorite garnishes as you go along. I like to finish it off with mostly veg to "cleanse" the palate.

    This dish sounds kind of so-so but the combo of the fragrant, salty, shrimp paste-y rice, some of the sweet garnishes eg the sausage and especially the muu wan, combined with the clean crisp of veggies and the tart surprise of the guava (or apple) is stupendous! Not to mention the mixes of texture and the hot rice with the cool ingredients. And of course it's as spicy as you want it to be. Hands down, it's one of my favorite Thai dishes.
    This is not a dish to have as part of a multicourse banquet ... it should be appreciated on its own, really, as the centerpiece of a meal, maybe preceded by a light yam (seafood?) and followed by a soup or gaeng chyyt. And I would expect that advance notice would get you a much better garnish assortment.

    The other item is "sukiyaki", 3rd to last in the 3rd row of the tom phad gaeng section. On the partially trans. menu it's "thai noodle soup" (guaytiaow nam) but actually it should be a hot-pot sort of thing. Ask the owners if it is cimcum (jim-joom), which Thais in Bangkok use interchangeable with "suki" .... bubbling soupy sour/spicy goodness loaded with Isaan herbs served in a smallish clay pot over a flame. You add at your leisure piles of seafood, meat, rice noodles, veggie, and an egg or two and eat with some good spicy namcim. Again -- doesn't sound too exciting but if the broth is herbed up right it's something altogether different from a tom yum, and equally as lovely.

    If I can get the SM printed, I'll give it another look. The khanom section and much of the third and first section is completely blurry.


    4 Replies
    1. re: foodfirst


      thanks as always for coming to our thai translation aid.

      If you are able to make out more items, I'd love to hear about them.

      1. re: foodfirst


        First of all, thank you for the bottom of our pure beef Chicago hearts for your assistance. I posted the Spoon Thai menu and, unfortunately, it was scanned from a photocopy so the clarity is somewhat poor. I do, however, have a much larger file of the scan, which I just uploaded to the linked web site.

        The new Spoon Thai files will take longer to load, but will be easier to read.

        Thank you in advance for your assistance.

        By the way, thank you from the bottom of our pure beef Chicago hearts is a reference to a favorite Chicago hot dog stand, Superdawg.



        1. re: G Wiv

          No problem, I'll try to have a look within a wk. BTW I changed my mind about payback for whenever I pass through Chicago ... scratch the beef, I want some killer Mexican food!

          1. re: foodfirst


            You ever make it to Chicago and I guarantee that there will be Chicago Chowhounds fighting over who gets to take you where first, Italian Beef, Mexican, steaks as big as car tires, you name it, it's yours.

            Thanks again for helping out your Chicago Chowhound friends.