When Supatra Yooto and Kay Soodjai opened the Golden room in 1982, they originally had a mostly Chinese menu. The Thai items increased as the cuisine gained popularity in Houston. When I first visited the restaurant some 20 years later, I had a whole red snapper and heard Soodjai say that the decorative wooden house they had posted outside the restaurant had been stolen again. With this long history behind them, the owners decided to start over with a fast-casual concept. The recipes are all the same with some new additions like the summer lettuce wrap, stuffed with mango salsa and battered cod.
The recipe for the summer lettuce wrap is below.
1 mango, medium ripe, diced
1 tbsp red onion, finely diced
2 tsp red Thai pepper, diced
1 green onion, green part only, diced
1 tbsp red bell pepper, diced
2 tbsp roasted peanuts, finely chopped
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp water
1 ½ tsp salt, divided
1 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
4 cod strips, 3-4 ounces each
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 large egg
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp olive oil
Black pepper to taste
Oil for deep-frying (at least 1 inch deep)
Fresh lettuce leaves for wrapping
1. In a bowl, mix ½ teaspoon salt, the sugar, water, Thai pepper, bell pepper and lime juice. Stir well. Add the mango, cilantro, green onion and peanut. Toss and set aside.
2. In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and 1 teaspoon of salt. In another bowl or measuring cup, beat the egg and mix it with the milk and olive oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, stirring just to blend; Stir in the pepper.
3. In a deep-fat fryer or large skillet, heat the oil to about 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Dip the cod into the batter and fry until golden and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and using a slotted spoon, place fish on a paper towel.
4. Place a strip of the crispy fried cod on a lettuce leaf and top with a generous portion of the mango mixture. Wrap and eat.