“So it’s a bowl of rice and a soup with any of these?” I asked the waitress at Zabb Elee as I perused the 20-deep roster of rice soup that runs from such items as “salted eggs spicy salad” and “pickled cabbage spicy salad” to “ground pork omelet” and “deep fried pork with garlic and pepper.” I went with the latter and chose pandanus rice, not sure whether I’d be delivered a soup with spicy pork in it or not.
What arrived at the table was a Thai version of congee known as khao tom kui along with a plate of moo tod kra tiem, crispy strips of fried pork showered with fried garlic and sidecar of chili sauce. At first I ate the two separately, but it didn’t take long for me to dump most of the pork and most of the sauce into the bowl. I’ll be honest, at first I dumped some of the meat and the sauce into the bowl to get a better photo. Then I tasted it and realized that it was a most satisfying bowl of spicy pork porridge. It was a perfect meal for a cold rainy night.
With a score of options to choose from Zabb’s rice soup roster could keep me busy most of the winter. I think my next choice will be spicy salted egg. Best of all it’s open late, 2:00 a.m. on weekdays and 3:00 a.m. on weekends. Just in time for when that late-night jook jones hits.
Zabb Elee, 71-28 Roosevelt Avenue, Jackson Heights, 718-426-7992