A heavenly Laotian snack in Grant Park

Dish of the week: Beef jerky at So So Fed

It came as no surprise when I learned the name for Laotian beef jerky, “seen savanh,” translates to “meat heaven.” After a visit to So So Fed, I fully understood the nomenclature as I unabashedly licked my fingers.

At the Laotian-style pop-up, with residency Sundays through Tuesdays at Grant Park’s Full Commission, Molli Voraotsady cooks her family recipes, which feature bold, fermented flavors; herbs; fish sauce; and sticky rice.

Her beef jerky is not the tough stuff you might know from hiking trips. This is not merely fuel; it’s a destination dish.

The beef is sliced thin, marinated and dried. Flash-fried before serving, the exterior has a caramelized glaze, with any bit of fat beautifully rendered, and the meat extremely tender. It’s sweet and savory, packed with spices, including ginger, sesame seed and chile flakes — simple ingredients with maximum flavor.

It’s so tender and flavor-packed, that I barely dipped into the spicy, sour habanero jeow dipping sauce.