Chiang mai – a city in the North of Thailand – is not only well known for its nice weather and incredible landscapes, but also for its delicious food. It is of no surprise that Chiangmai is so popular with tourists and expats and now there are even international sporting events being held there such as the Thailand International Chiang Mai Enduro mountain bike event. They happened to write an article recently on northern Thai food which I wanted to share with you. Now, on to the food!
This is the people’s favourite curry-noodles dish. Its exact origins are unknown but it is widely thought to have been brought to Thailand by Muslim and Chinese traders in the late 19th/early 20th century. It seems likely to have been influenced by type of dishes called Chin Haw, widely available in Burma today. The Chin Haw people are originally from China and one third of the Chin How are Muslim. So somehow, perhaps the myth makes sense – what do you think?
Khao Soi is made from flat egg noodles, beef or chicken, and curry soup. It’s garnished with crispy flat egg noodles (fried in very hot oil), sliced red shallots, coriander, spring onion, a wedge of lime, pickled mustard greens, and a roast chilli sauce. What you will taste in the curry paste that differs from other Thai curries are cloves, turmeric and ginger.
Chiang mai Sausage or Sai-Ua (Sai- Ouah):
Smoked Chiangmai Sausage. This is made from minced pork sausage mixed with curry paste and herbs & spices, then grilled over smoky BBQ coals. Best eaten still warm, with sticky rice, ginger and coriander.
Khanom Jeen Nam Ngiao:
This soup is from the Thai Yai (or Shan) ethnic group, who are from Chiangrai and Maehongsorn. The taste is rich and salty, a little spicy, sour and sweet. The soup is made from curry paste, minced pork and pork rib soup. This will be served with cubes of congealed pig’s blood (you can choose not to have it when you order so don’t worry) and white rice noodle which are called Kanom Jeen. It’s garnished with beansprouts, small pieces of snake beans, shredded pickled mustard greens, deep fried dried bird eyes chillies and kab moo (fried pork skin).
Chiang Mai Sweets – Pork Sa-Ku (steamed tapioca ball with pork):
This is an unusual dessert for a lot of nations, but not for Thais. It keeps the characteristics of Thai style desserts, which mostly are salty and sweet, despite containing meat. The tapioca balls are steamed with the pork filling inside. This is served with fried garlic and fresh chillies.
International Chiangmai Enduro (2019). www.internationalchiangmaienduro.com/food-ofchiangmai/?fbclid=IwAR2uSXBoBKW6ofxxXuLafPXZY2sloTrstzEMc9wclNP8NGw28p7132u88gw, accessed25/11/2019
David Thompson (2002).thai food arharn thai. London: Pavillion.