An Issan Style Meal

Issan FoodToday my girlfriend cooked three dishes for us. As she comes from Northeastern Thailand the dishes were of course Issan style. As we don’t have the tools to cook the typical Northeastern sticky rice, we eat the meals with the usual white rice. The first dish consisted simply of some vegetables and a dipping sauce (plate at the top). The sauce is called nam phrik gapi and is made of the following ingredients: chilli (phrik), shrimp paste (gapi), lemon (manaw), sugar (nam taan) and some flavors called churot. A variety of vegetables can be used for this dish. In our case we had yardlong beans, also called snake beans or Chinese long beans (tua fag yaaw) and some Thai cucumber called taeng gwaa. The raw vegetables are simply dipped into the sauce and eaten.

Kai-lanThe second dish (left side) is called phad kha naa gai thood and is made of fried kai-lan (phad kha naa) and fried chicken (gai thood) . Kai-lan or kha naa is a leaf vegetable and belongs to the same species as broccoli but its taste is more bitter. It is used in various Asian dishes and is often stir-fried with garlic and ginger. In our case, the following ingredients were added to kai-lan: Chilli (phrik), garlic (gratiam), sugar (nam taan), some flavors called churot, fish sauce (nam plaa) and oyster sauce (sauce hooy naang rom).

tom gradugThird dish is called tom graduug muu. It is a soup made of various ingredients in which a piece of pork meat (muu) and bone (graduug) are boiled. The soup is made of kaffir lime leaves (magruud), lemongrass (takhrai), Thai galangal or blue ginger (khaa) and chilli (phrik). The rhizome of the Thai galangal has plenty of health benefits and can be used for the treatment of skin infections and eczema, stomach aches, colds and fevers and to treat rheumatism. Lemongrass can also be used to treat fevers, colds and to lower bad cholesterol levels.

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