The tao of 'o'
PHUKET: When we talk about Phuket food, there are many popular dishes that just don’t seem Thai at all. That’s because many recipes are actually Hokkien Chinese in origin, such as o tao.
Monday 11 June 2012, 10:49AM
Chaisit “Ko Daeng” Wongmassaeng, a local o tao vendor, explains the story of the dish.
“O tao is popular among Phuketians of all ages, who mostly eat it as a snack – though it can sometimes serve as a main course. It is similar to a Penang snack called o juey. The word O means taro, the main ingredient of this dish,” says Ko daeng.
The ingredients of o tao are taro, oysters, eggs, shrimp, bean sprouts and tapioca flour.
To make it, Ko Daeng cuts taro into small cubes, then steams them before immersing in tapioca flour water. Those ingredients are then fried in a flat pan with little oil, slowly adding oysters, shrimps, eggs, chilli paste, and crushed garlic. Everything is then fried until all ingredients are dried.
“The taste is quite spicy, but customers can ask for no chilli paste,” says Ko daeng.
“It is very good to eat with fresh vegetables, bean sprouts and crispy pork skin. If they want to take it away, I will wrap it in banana leaf, which keeps the food fresher.”
Ko Daeng restaurant is located on Patiphat Rd near the Slaughter House intersection. It opens Monday to Friday 3pm to 10pm. The price is B40-50 depending on the ingredients.