The cuisine of North Thailand follows ancestral tradition. The majority of foods come from nature, whether from the forests or just around the house, and are collected seasonally, whether they be plants, vegetables, fruits, livestock, bamboo shoots, forest mushrooms, or whatever else.
Because the weather is cool in the North, there are more fresh and delicious plants available than in other regions, making vegetables the primary ingredient in most foods.
Some types of foods have been influenced by neighboring countries such as Myanmar or Laos, creating diversity among the cuisines of different localities.
The “bread and butter” of Northern Thai people is without a doubt, sticky rice, where they form it into little balls which are then dipped into curry or chili paste.
One well-known chili paste, which is both famous in the North and generally considered to be quite delicious, is called Nam Prik Num.
Prik Num (literally, “young chili”) is a fresh, immature chili. Nam Prik Num is the viscous chili paste native to the North widely offered to tourists and as a gift to bring back home. It’s often eaten with dried pork skin and fresh vegetables.
Nam Prik Num’s ingredients include barbecued chilis (prik num yang fai), grilled shallots (hom daeng yang fai), grilled garlic (kratiam yang fai), salt (kluea), cilantro (phak chi soy), and scallions (ton hom soy).
Steps for Preparation:
1.Grill peppers, garlic, and shallots, while also peeling off their shells.
2. Crush the ingredients together with salt until they form a fine mixture.
3. Sprinkle cilantro and scallions on top.
The “secret” technique for cooking the ingredients:
Grill the ingredients over charcoal, to give the peppers a delicious aroma and unique flavor. And if you don’t like your food spicy, remove the chili seeds first—that’ll really help!
Northern Thai people have an elegant and unique manner of presenting their food, a tradition called Khan Tok. Given their charm and refined manner, the people of North Thailand create food that is both delicious and fitting for their personality.