Yum pla duk fu at Bambu Thai-Asian Cuisine in Richardson. The salad, a frequent blackboard special during summer, is shredded then deep-fried catfish topped with julienned green mango plus ginger, cilantro, peanuts, mint and red onion, served with a sweet-hot dressing. 

Yum pla duk fu at Bambu Thai-Asian Cuisine in Richardson. The salad, a frequent blackboard special during summer, is shredded then deep-fried catfish topped with julienned green mango plus ginger, cilantro, peanuts, mint and red onion, served with a sweet-hot dressing. 

Leslie Brenner/Staff

I've been a fan of Bambu Thai-Asian Cuisine's  yum pla duk fu — crispy catfish and green mango salad — for years, but when I ordered it recently for lunch, it was nothing short of spectacular. Chef Bounmee Nanthaphak's $13 blackboard special (available for most of the summer) is an unusual dish because the catfish is fried, then shredded and then fried again, resulting in a honeycomb texture that's crisp, light, airy and sort of springy-chewy. Nanthaphak piles julienned green mango and wisps of red onion on top, along with mint, cilantro, ginger and peanuts, and serves it with sweet-hot nam pla with garlic and birds-eye chiles as dressing. The flavor and textural interplay between the hot crispy-spongy catfish and the cool mango, ginger and aromatic herbs is simply smashing. 

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