By Wynter Holden
Eating Asian food while on a diet can be a tricky proposition for an American diner. You'd think that Thai, Chinese and Japanese eats would automatically equal diet-friendly. I mean, proportionally (pun intended), how many overweight people live in these countries vs. the U.S.? Asian obesity rates have historically been very low. Well, until we introduced the "Big Mac" culture.
And therein lays the challenge. To appeal to American tastes, Asian restaurants have introduced fattening entrees that barely resemble their foreign counterparts. Orange chicken. Fried dumplings. Pad Thai smothered in peanut sauce. Yeah, can I have a side of thunder thighs with that? Thanks.
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SHOW ME HOW
I sought out 75 Thai Taste at 1820 N. 75th Ave. for two reasons: first, I heard their food is fairly authentic and second, they have a huge selection of menu items (I figured there'd be 75, duh, but there are actually 124). Rather than order by name, you just ask for the number next to your dish. I opted for the last entree on the menu, #124: Garlic Snow Peas in oyster sauce. Shrimp was the obvious meat choice, being lowest in fat and calories.
Overall, I didn't do too badly. Shrimp and veggies with steamed rice is a healthy meal, as long as you don't overdo it on the starch. The soupy brown oyster sauce was a gamble, like most sauces, but it turns out I guessed right. At only 9.18 calories per tablespoon, it's a dieter's dream sauce.
At 75 Thai Taste, the rice and entree are served on separate plates. This is great news for dieters, because you're given a spoon and forced to portion your rice and entree on a separate plate. So you can start with a couple spoonfuls of each, plate 'em up and see if you're still hungry afterwards. If you are, try another 2 spoonfuls. If you're full, stop. I was disappointed I didn't get a fortune cookie at the end of my meal (yes, I know it was Thai, not Chinese food). But, if I had, I'm sure it would've read "your dieting efforts will be successful today."