Mia’s favorite : Top 3 Northern Thai dishes

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Thai greeting is unique and different than the rest of the world.

We do say”hello, how are you?”

BUT I bet you have heard local Thai people often greet each other as

Have you eaten yet?      กินข้าวหรือยัง?     gin kaâo rěu yang?   

it’s clear this is a nation that’s extremely passionate about its eats.

I got asked many times “Where can I find a good Thai restaurant?”

My answer have always been “Don’t look at the menu, the décor or even the prices. Look at the number of people inside. That’s your quality indicator”


Thai cuisine is more accurately described as four regional cuisines corresponding to the four main regions of the country:

Northern, Northeastern (or Isan), Central, and southern.


Top 3 Northern Thai dishes


 Northern Thai cuisine shares many dishes with northern Lao cuisine and the cuisine of Shan state in Burma.

อาหารภาคเหนือ Northern Thai food

อาหาร/aa hăan/food
ภาค /pâak/part ; region ; area
เหนือ/ nĕua/north ; northern

Number 1 : ไส้อั่ว sâi oùa

This is a quite different sausage, this time from the Chiang Mai region of northern Thailand.
Chiang Mai, sausages like ไส้อั่ว /sâi oùa are left to ferment for a few hours or an entire day before they’re cooked, making them taste distinctly sour. ไส้อั่ว /sâi oùa is grilled whole and displayed in a coil that might be several feet long.Mixed with minced pork ,garlic, cilantro leaves, lemon grass,galangal, shallot.Sausages are efficient – they keep meat from spoiling, use up less-desirable parts of an animal, and disguise the flavor of meat that isn’t quite fresh. Refrigeration and commercial meat production have now made these concerns outdated in most parts of Thailand, but Thai people still love sausage.

Number 2 : แกงฮังเล or แกงฮินเล

Pronounced : gaeng hang lay or gaeng hin lay
แกง /gaeng/ curry ; soup ; stew
ฮิน/hin/ is a Burmese word means แกง /gaeng/curry
เล/ lay/ means meat in Burmese language
Now, I think you could guess where is this dish originally from….Yes, Burma….
A northern Thai curry made with pork (or beef). Similar to massaman but without the coconut milk.The main ingredient is pork.Other distinctive ingredients are ginger and pickled garlic.
My mom makes the best แกงฮังเล gaeng hang lay, she’d simmer tough pork on the bone for hours or sometimes she left in the fridge overnight to create shivers of delight.
I love to this curry by prepare a ball of sticky rice and scoop up a bite size meat chunk with curry to enjoy the full flavor.


Number 3 ข้าวซอย Khâo soi 


A Burmese-influenced (again! you see!)dish served widely in northern Laos and northern Thailand.
ข้าว/ Khâo /rice
ซอย/ soi/ to slice ; mince ; divide
ข้าวซอย Khâo soi  is the famous noodle dish eaten at midday.Traditionally, the dough for the rice noodles is spread out on a cloth stretched over boiling water. After steaming the large sheet noodle is then rolled and cut with scissors.

According to Wikipedia There are two common versions of ข้าวซอย Khâo soi 

  • Lao khâo soi is made with wide rice noodle, coarsely chopped pork, tomatoes, fermented soy beans, chillies, shallots, and garlic, then topped with pork rind, bean sprouts, chopped scallions, and cilantro.
  • Northern Thai khâo soi is made with a mix of deep-fried crispy egg noodle and boiled egg noodles, pickled cabbage,shallots, lime, ground chillies fried in oil, and meat in a curry-like sauce containing coconut milk.
Your next trip to Northern Thailand especially Chiang Mai, These 3 dishes are the must try.

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