Minnesota Monthly: ON THE TRAIL OF THE CLASSIC THAI NOODLE DISH
by Rachel Hutton
Published July 2003
Our next stop is the new kid on the block, True Thai, which opened last winter in Minneapolis's Seward neighborhood. The sunny dining room smells earthy, like wheat or lemongrass. A bowl of persimmons and Mexican mangos ripens in the window, and we feel like we're part of a tranquil still life until we're greeted by True Thai's vivacious co-owner, Anna Prasomphol Fieser.
Fieser lets us know right away that her pad thai is the most authentic. Why? "In real Thai recipes-not ones translated into English-there are three ingredients that no one else in Minnesota uses: pressed bean curd; dried, shredded daikon radish; and fresh, flat chives," she says. Fieser's recipe uses tamarind, cilantro (which I am glad to see), and small bits of soft bean curd.
"This tastes more authentic, and more complex, says Nelson. "More layers of flavor, and I like the texture," says Fauchald. Fieser explains that they soak the noodles overnight in cold water. Our knowledgeable waiter and wine steward, Jason, pairs the dish with a sweet white wine, Sokol Blosser's Evolution, which crisply complements the dish.
Just when we think things couldn't possibly get better, Fieser spoils us with one of my favorite desserts, mango sticky rice with coconut milk. The mangoes are perfectly ripe, despite the off-season, and the rice is warm and gooey with a hint of saltiness.
Before we leave, I broach the subject of ketchup with Fieser. "That is unforgivable. Put that person in jail," she says in a tone that's jovial, yet gives you the sense that she's not completely kidding....
Back in the limo we make our picks: [T]he most authenticity, most complex flavor, True Thai.