Cooking Northern Thai Food – Khanom Jeen Nam Ngeow
Northern Thai dishes are the most elusive regional cuisine in Bangkok. Most people are only familiar with khao soi, a curry-based noodle dish. Sure, it’s incredibly tasty and deservedly popular. But we recommend switching things up once in a while to give northern Thailand’s lesser known noodle export a try: khanom jeen nam ngiaw.
A dish typically served alongside the popular khao soi at northern Thai noodle stalls, nam ngiaw most likely has its origins in the Shan communities of northern Thailand (ngiaw is a somewhat derogatory term used to refer to the Shan), where it takes the form of a watery, slightly tart broth served over the eponymous khanom jeen, a variety of freshly made rice noodle. Over time, northern Thais beefed up the spice paste and added more meat, resulting in a heartier dish that is sometimes likened to a Thai-style bolognese.
The broth is made by simmering pork (or sometimes beef) in a mixture that includes a spice paste, dried herbs and halved cherry tomatoes. The meat, which can range from minced pork to chopped spareribs, combines with the spice paste to form a rich, meaty and often rather oily stew. The tomatoes provide a counterpart of acidity, and the broth is served over the noodles and supplemented with cubes of blood, topped with a generous amount of deep-fried crispy garlic and accompanied by sides of pickled mustard green, thinly sliced cabbage, bean sprouts, lime and dried chilies, deep-fried until crispy.
The cooking class at Suwannee is an ideal home-style learning environment that is different from most of the opportunities in the hotels and restaurants in Thailand. Not will you be only watch and participate in the cooking of a number of traditional Thai dishes; also as part of our course we visit a local market to learn about local exotic fruits and vegetables, there is always an abundance of new things to see……and taste!
Khanom Jeen Nam Ngeow HT MC Thai 55mins
Serves 4 Hot Poultry Fish Pork Pasta Main Course Thailand Asia Asian
450g/1lb pork Spare Ribs, chopped into bite-size pieces
6 dried Chillies
2 tbsp finely chopped Shallots
4 Garlic Cloves, chopped
1 tbsp Shrimp Paste
1 tbsp chopped Galangal
1 tbsp Chopped Lemon Grass
1 tbsp Oil
200g/7oz Minced Pork
4 Tomatoes, roughly chopped
400g/14oz Chinese Spaghetti
1. Place the spare ribs and water in a large saucepan, bring to simmering point then simmer over a low heat for 45 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a mortar, pound together the chilies, shallots, garlic, shrimp paste, galangal and lemongrass until well blended. Set aside.
3. Heat the oil in a frying pan then add the pounded chilli mixture and minced pork and stir fry for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Set aside.
4. At the end of the spare ribs cooking time, add the fried mince pork, tomatoes, spaghetti and salt to the pan, mix well and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time. Serve hot.
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