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How I enjoy reading what you write and look at the beautiful photos! I'm happy every time I see that you have posted something!


Pork tastes so different in Thailand than here in the States. I can still remember my favorite childhood snack...pork on a stick with sticky rice. Back at pratom 5, I would spend my daily allowance (5 bahts!) at a moo ping food stand on the way to school... what porky goodness.


Thanks Ilva!

thaigirl - so true, though it's not just Thailand. IMO pork anywhere in Asia is heads and shoulders above pork in the US. And it's fattier -- not great for the health, perhaps, but much better for flavor!


Perhaps you should change this to "The Other White Meat, Jao" (northern dialect!). You're definitely right here--they do love their pork up north. However I've found that they love their veggies just as much, and a northern meal typically has a good balance of meat and veg.

By the way, the spice used in laap khua is ma khwaen, not ma khwaem.


Thanks Austin. I thought 'kha' would be recognized by more readers than would 'jao'. We found the same re: veggies up north. But let's not jump the gun. That's a post for next week. ;-)

As for the spice, everyone we met in the N, including the folks in the makhwe*m* -harvesting village we visited, pronounce the word with an 'm'. Have a look at David Thompson's book - he uses an 'm' as well.


Yum, that looks and sounds fabulous! I'm drooling...

mary shaposhnik

What a great photo essay! Your site is great. Special thanks this time for describing northern laap (you and Austin have both written about this), which was something I didn't know about until recently. I wonder if this explains the laap I had two years ago in Pua, in Nan province -- I remember being puzzled that it was very "dark," both in appearance and flavor, and highly spiced but not sprightly or herby. I don't remember any prickly ash type sensation. I wasn't sure if it was just that restaurant, or a local style, but you all are making me think the latter. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with those of us who are desk-bound far away.


Either you misheard it, or it's a dialect difference (which I doubt), as I'm positive it's ma khwaen, and the Thai-language cookbook I'm staring at right now confirms this! Mr Thompson is actually in BKK now and I can ask him about this when we meet for lunch on Wed!

Looking forward to seeing the northern veggies. You were fortunate to be there during phak hueat season--hope you mention this veggie.


Great, let me know. He spells it 'macquem'.


the naem looks mildly familiar, but of course its not ! those meats, only in Amazing Thailand,how salivating....


Coagulated pigs blood that comes with kanom jeen nam ngiaow = yummy. Hard to come nowdays, by back home in Malaysia.


toniXe - I don't know, Malaysians don't do so bad with their roast pork! But I do prefer Thai-style grilled pork to Malaysian sate.

unkaleong - yes, what is it abt the blood in nam ngaiow? To me it's so much tastier than the coagulated blood in Malaysian-style soups/stews.


I've been told it's due to the way the pigs are slaughtered in Malaysia. Don't quote me on this though...

In Southern Thailand,I came across crispy roasted pork that was delcious, will mail you a picture...


Hi! This is my first visit to your blog and i love it! I tried the Naem which i thought was meat sausage. To my horror, it tasted sour and it was not meat but glutinous rice. Tasted fermented and the lady seller did not understand my complain so i threw away the whole thing. The sour taste lingered in my mouth for the next half an hour. After reading your blog, now i know it is supposed to be sour.

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