Category Archives: Isaan

Low-so Dining at Soi Thong Lor

To me, it’s really a pity if you cannot—or refuse—to eat street food in Bangkok. The quality and hygiene standards may be lacking at some stalls, but when you meet a good one, you are bombarded with a smorgasbord of flavors and textures. Take this hole-in-the-wall along Soi Thong Lor (around 100 meters from the soi entrance) that M, P and I visited today.

With just filmsy metal tables and rickety plastic stools lining a cracked pavement, an open kitchen that was enveloped in smoke half the time and lightbulbs hanging from cables strewn across trees, the owners managed to carve out a small-time business serving Isan-style specialties. There was a steady stream of patrons while we were there, which probably is a reflection of the popularity of this roadside stall.

We three famished gluttons ordered enough food to feed a small army: som tom puu (papaya salad with crab), som tam puu plaa raa (papaya salad with crab and fermented fish sauce), seua ronghai (crying tiger a.k.a. grilled beef), muu manaao (pork with lime sauce), khor muu yang (grilled pork shoulder), jim jum (Isan-style hot pot), yam ruam mit (mixed salad) and sai oon yang (grilled pork intestines), alongside sticky rice and chilled beer.

M suggested trying paeng nom muu (pork teats), but unfortunately the stall ran out of teats, so we opted for grilled pork intestines instead—which wasn’t on the menu but the owners gamely agreed to whip it up for us. We joked that unlike the hi-so and hipster set who flock to Thong Lor to see and be seen, we were instead holed up at this low-so eatery with sweat dripping down our foreheads. We ate and talked and ate some more; by the end of two hours, the chairs were groaning under our weight and our buttons threatening to pop.

The damage for all this good food and company on a Friday evening? 690 baht.

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Filed under Bangkok, Isaan, street food, Thailand

Oops!

Out comes the poop!

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Filed under countryside, Isaan, Thailand

Cim Cum – the tasty hot pot

Udomsuk is one of mr;p’s and my favourite dining place in Bangkok, and we usually go there when we want a better dinner or there’s any occasion for celebration. Last week, we headed to Aroi Naenorn (Confirmed Delicious Restaurant) for some Isan specialties.

Cim Cum ranks high on my list of favourite Thai food. It is an Isan favourite that mr;p first introduced to me last year in Udon Thani. The flavourful soap concoction in the ceramic pot is slowly brought to boiling point by the charcoal underneath. One can choose between seafood, pork or mixed soup bases. We opted for the pork option. It comes with an abundance of raw vegetables (I can only name cabbages for now – some of which will give very strong flavour to the soup), an egg, a plate of glass noodles, and most importantly, naam cim (the chilli sauce concoction) for dipping all the food morsels.

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Filed under Bangkok, food, Isaan, Thailand

Som Tam

Som Tam (ส้มตำ) or Papaya Salad (as it is often called in English) is a ubiquitous dish in Thailand. What was originally an Isaan (Northeast) speciality can now be found throughout the kingdom. It is actually made up of unripe papaya grated into long and thin slices, with tomatoes, long beans, chilli, lime, fish sauce or even crushed peanuts, etc added to give an assortment of flavours- sour, spicy, sweet. This particular version above is Som Tam Sai Puu, or Papaya Salad with Crabs. This dish will go down very well with khao niao (sticky rice)! 😉

Tips: Avoid biting into the chilli seeds if you can’t take spicy food very well. You wouldn’t want your mouth to be on fire and gasping for water, which happened to me so often in my early days of getting acquainted with Thai food. These little things can be vicious!

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Filed under food, Isaan, Thailand