Johnny Monis's Thai Catfish Salad
Photo © Con Poulos
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of F&W’s Best New Chef awards, one of our biggest stars shares one of his most requested recipes.
F&W named Johnny Monis a Best New Chef 2007 at Komi, his Greek-inspired restaurant in Washington, DC. He is now also the chef-owner of Little Serow, located next door to Komi. There, Monis offers highly spiced, boldly flavored Northeast Thai dishes like laap muu Chiang Mai, made with hand-minced pork. But that recipe isn’t ideal for home cooks: “It’s very labor-intensive and includes just about every part of the pig, including its blood,” he says. A wildly popular but more home-cook-friendly dish on Monis’s $45 prix fixe menu is laap pla duk, a vibrant catfish salad with mint, dill, cilantro and a spicy lime dressing; it’s served with a bowl of raw vegetables to balance the searing heat. “You want a really deep char on the catfish skin,” says Monis, who recommends wild salmon as an alternative. “It’s one of my favorite dishes year-round, but it’s best once the weather lets you get the charcoal grill going.” SEE RECIPE »