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Food V-Logs | Isan Destinations

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  • Food V-Logs | Isan Destinations

    Khoen Kaen | Grilled Chicken BBQ

    First of all, you arrive to the town, and it’s literally a massive highway, with about 50 different grilled chicken restaurants and street food stalls to choose from, all displaying the unique grilled chicken of this district. Oom Im Restaurant - We chose to go to Oom Im Restaurant and I’m glad I chose them over any other options - they are family run, laid back, and so friendly. They even went the extra effort to show us all the ingredients that go into the marinade of Khao Suan Kwang Grilled Chicken. There are two main reasons why this type of grilled chicken is so good - one is because of the chickens themselves - the chicken breed. Two is because of both the marinade and mainly because the grilling technique. A big part of this type of street food chicken is the way that it’s wrapped on a bamboo skewer and grilled of the basin bbq grill style! I think I emphasized this three times in the video - but you’ll see the chickens on the grill and they look scrawny and dried up, but you’ll be so surprised how moist and juicy the chicken is. The flavor, the texture, the creaminess, and the crispy skin, is on all another level. Kai yang Khao Suan Kwang - 120 THB per chicken, 400 total bill

  • #2
    The "Kobe" Beef of Thailand

    Welcome to Sakhon Nakhon, a province in Isaan - northeastern Thailand that’s home to wide open space, rocky mountains, rice agriculture, and some of the best quality and tasting beef in all of Thailand! Sakhon Nakhon is famous for its Ko Khun Pon Yang Kham Beef, sometimes called the Kobe Beef of Thailand, it’s one of the best quality and flavor profile beef in Thailand and so I was very excited to finally be at the source. Mong Yod Neua Yang Restaurant - I chose to eat at Mong Yod Neua Yang Restaurant, a restaurant that many recommended to me for Thai beef steakhouse style bbq. You can choose your cut of beef, and at this restaurant you get a hot iron griddle over charcoal to cook the beef yourself. Additionally they serve other Ko Khun Pon Yang Kham Beef dishes - Isaan food - like nam tok and laap, made with this special beef. The owner of the restaurant, you can tell is very passionate about the beef he serves, and he ensures the quality by hand picking it out himself each day from the fresh beef. It was one of my first times to eat real Ko Khun Pon Yang Kham Beef and I was impressed by the taste and flavor of this Thai grass fed beef. It’s not as soft or butter as Kobe beef or types of Wagyu, but it has a bit of texture and is very flavorful. I also thoroughly enjoyed the experience eating at Mong Yod Neua Yang Restaurant - it’s laid back, relaxing, and you can choose the places of beef you like. The sauces were also delicious. Also, when comparing the beef quality to the price, the value is incredible - might be some of the best quality beef for the price that I’ve had. Total price - 950 THB for everything


    • #3
      Mountain Food Paradise

      Samuay & Sons, is an innovative Isan Thai food restaurant in Udon Thani, where Chef Num serves unique dishes using wild and foraged ingredients. The unique flavors, balance of all taste buds, and his herb driven - often medicinal property cuisine - is what makes it so spectacular. It was a huge honor to spend a day hanging out, eating with, and learning from Chef Num of Samuay & Sons and Mak Khang - two of the most exciting restaurants in Thailand. After meeting Chef Num, we immediately drove to Sakhon Nakhon, about a two and a half hour drive.

      We drove to a small village, at the base of a mountain known for its indiginous plant species. It’s one of the villages where Chef Num goes foraging and sources ingredients. We went to the home of Chef Num Noi, a former chef at Samuay & Sons who returned to his home and started re-growing and farming some of the rare ingredients from Sakhon Nakhon. Along with an amazing foraging trip on the moonscape mountain - tasting things along the way - the highlight of our trip to Sakhon Nakhon was lunch - well actually two lunches. First lunch we had grilled free range chicken with a chili fermented fish chili dip that was out of this world. As well as a dish called “swa gai,” a chicken boil loaded with herbs like rau ram and lemongrass. It was outstanding.

      For the second lunch we came back from foraging and the main event of lunch was their special version of “mok nor mai,” a bamboo shoot packet, pounded up with loads of herbs, yangang leaves, and steamed. It was sensational, so many unbelievable layers of flavor. Foraging and eating Thai Isan food in the village with Chef Num was an amazing experience, and it was amazing to see the knowledge, though process, and respect for traditional and local culture that Chef Num has and that translates back into his modern creative dishes at his restaurants. We then drove straight back to Udon Thani, and straight to Samuay & Sons for dinner.


      • #4
        Nakhon Phanom | Spicy Fire Noodles

        Welcome to Nakhon Phanom, a quiet and peaceful province in the Isan Northeastern region of Thailand, along the Mekong River. You’ll immediately notice how life takes on a much more relaxed and slower pace when you’re here. Today, we’re visiting one of the most revered pagoda temples in Isan and then eating a fiery spicy bowl of rice noodles and fermented fish sauce. This is Day 1 in Nakhon Phanom. That Phanom, Thailand - Located in Nakhon Phanom province, That Phanom is a city that’s famous for its temple. Wat Phra That Phanom. The main pagoda dates back to sometime in the 6th - 9th century, but it was rebuilt again in the 16th century by the King of Laos. It’s highly revered and a pilgrimage destination because it is said to have a breast bone of Buddha. Perm Poon Khanom Jeen. The highlight of my day was lunch at a restaurant called Perm Poon Khanom Jeen known for fresh rice noodles, fermented fish sauce, and insanely spicy chilies. It was sensational, especially with a sprinkle of white popinac seeds (aka mini stink beans) poured all over. Delicious, highly recommended. Total price - 30 THB per plate


        • #5
          Udon Thani

          After a full day of foraging and eating Isan food in a village in Sakhon, Nakhon, we drove directly back to Udon Thani, and had the special opportunity to to eat at Samuay and Sons - one of the most exciting restaurants in Thailand serving innovative Thai Isan food by Chef Num! One of the things I love most about Chef Num is how he makes use of wild and foraged ingredients - but on top of that - using wild ingredients that come from villages and communities throughout Thailand. As an example, during our meal at Samuay & Sons, there was this one ingredient that I believe was a kind of nut. Chef Num explained that it was almost extinct, but in this one village in Northern Thailand, they had it. So Chef Num decided to order some from the village, in an effort to preserve the ingredient. That’s just part of Chef Num’s philosophy and the honesty of the ingredients he uses in his cooking.

          Another thing I love so much about the food at Samuay & Sons is the balance of all tastes and flavors - but more on the medicinal side. He has an amazing way of adding layers of fermentation, bitterness, and herbs together that create such a harmony in your mouth. Most of the dishes were Thai Isan food, but Chef Num explained that his idea being the “journey” tasting menu is that he uses ingredients from all over Thailand - like we had grouper fish (from the ocean), but with an Isan approach and thinking. This is the way that he’s able to innovate and progress Thai Isan food. The meal was amazing, and a few of my favorite dishes were dried foraged bamboo with yanang leaf sauce, shrimp head butter green papaya salad, and 3 year old pig “moo ping,” - probably the best skewer of moo ping you’ll ever have!! Samuay and Sons is one of the best restaurants in Udon Thani for a high end culinary experience. Highly recommended, I learned a lot, and loved the flavors. Also when you’re in Udon Thani, try Chef Num’s more family restaurant Mak Khang.


          • #6
            Streetfood in Kalasin

            Welcome to Kalasin, Thailand, a laid back town and province in Isaan (the northeastern region) of Thailand. Today, we’re going on a Thai street food tour of Kalasin starting early - really early - in the morning.

            Gai Yang Yai Duan - Opening from 1 am and selling out by dawn, Gai Yang Yai Duan is a legendary Thai grilled chicken street food stall at the market in Kalasin. The chicken is tasty, especially when dipped in fermented fish sauce chili dip with sticky rice. Nothing like a little grilled chicken at 4 am to wake up to. Price - 30 THB per piece Kuay Jab Rong Ngew.

            Another early morning stall is Kuay Jab Rong Ngew, serving a dish called Kuay Jab, but the Isaan version which is soft rice noodles in a thick porridge like gravy. It’s quite tasty and soothing, especially good on a cool morning. Price - 20 THB per bowl Jay Du Pla Pao.

            One of the popular Thai street foods in Isaan is pla pao, or salt crusted roasted fish. The fish is stuffed with pandan leaves, coated in a thick layer of salt, and then grilled over charcoal. You order a fish, some freshly pounded green papaya salad, and you’re ready for the ultimate lunchtime meal in Kalasin. Jay Du Pla Pao is a fantastic market stall street food restaurant where you can be guaranteed fresh and hotly grilled tilapia. Total price - 170 THB

            Khao Jee Pab Jang - Finally to finish off this Thai street food tour of Kalasin, we’re going to eat what is possibly the original rice burger - sticky rice burger coated in duck egg yolk and grill over charcoal. It’s simple, hearty, and fragrant. A perfect afternoon snack when you’re in Kalasin, Thailand. Price - 5 THB per piece Kalasin is not a hugely popular province to visit in Thailand, but there is so good food, people are extremely famous, and you can see real dinosaur footprints!


            • #7
              Vietnamese Street Food in Nakhon Phanom

              Welcome to Nakhon Phanom, a quiet province and town in Northeastern Thailand, along the beautiful Mekong River. This area of Thailand has a lot of history and influence from both Laos and Vietnam. Today, we’re going on a sightseeing tour of attractions in Nakhon Phanom, and we’ll also eat some of the most famous Vietnamese food in town - and one of the greatest eggs in a noodle blanket. The noodles are some of the softest and silkiest I’ve ever had. Nakhon Phanom is so relaxing and peaceful, people are friendly, and the Vietnamese food is delicious!


              • #8
                Streetfood Tour in Udon Thani

                We started this ultimate Thai street food tour of Udon Thani at the bustling morning market. It’s always great to walk around the morning market to see the mix of ingredients, what’s available and what goes into the local cuisine. For breakfast we stopped to eat a bowl of Vietnamese noodles called Bun Moc (Price - 25 THB. There’s a long history with Vietnam also in Udon Thani and throughout Isan. This bowl of noodles was delicious, using soft rice noodles, pork meatballs, and a tart tomato broth.

                Next street food stall at the market, we tried the most genius sausage ever, from mixed with spices and restuffed. Taew Laap Bet - Chef Num took us to one of his favorite restaurants in Udon Thani, a shophouse specializing in all things duck - and were talking from the flippers to the beak and everything in between. But their most famous dish is their laap, a minced meat mixture that includes spices and herbs, and ehtie version, with raw duck blood. Total price - 535 THB (Som Tam Benjang)

                You cannot go to Udon Thani without eating green papaya salad, or Isan Lao style pounded salads, and Som Tam Benjang is one of the best places in the city. They make it look effortless, pounding mounds of chilies, shreds of papaya, and fermented fish sauce into a harmony and overdose of flavor. Amazing salads, don’t miss it when you’re in Udon Thani. Total price - 280 THB Pa Noi Noodles - Finally to end this ultimate Thai street food tour of Udon Thani in Isan, we’re going to eat at Pa Noi Noodles, legendary braised beef noodles. Along with the amazingly tender and flavorful beef, one of the best things about this restaurant is that you get roasted chilies and chili paste to eat with your noodles. Price - 50 THB


                • #9
                  Giant Mekong River Fish

                  Bueng Kan is a quiet and very relaxing province in the Northeastern region of Thailand known as Isan. It’s located along one of the widest parts of the Mekong River, and so you can guarantee you’re in for some freshwater Mekong River fish! Today, we’re going to eat at one of the best Mekong River fish Thai / Lao food restaurants, and you’re going to love the Chef! Located along the Mekong River bank in Bueng Kan city, Khrua Paw Kaew is probably the best restaurant in town. And Chef Paw is known for serving fresh Mekong River fish. Everyday he gets the fresh catch, fish that are native to the Mekong River, and some fish that are typically only found in this region of the Mekong. Because Bueng Kan is right across the river from Laos, both Isan and Laos share a culture, and food. So at his restaurant he serves a combination of Thai, Chinese, and Lao food. I immediately loved Chef Paw as soon as I met him, friendly, laid back, all about river fish, all while having some serious cooking skills in the kitchen. Also, you will love his full Chef outfit - he is the Mekong River Chef! I just let Chef choose the dishes for us and he got to work preparing a number of dishes with the fish he had on hand for the day. The meal was outstanding, so much powerful flavor, so many herbs and spices, fresh river fish and serious cooking skills. It was so much fun to hang out with Chef Paw in the kitchen and watch him in the zone, flying on the dishes. Highly recommended, a must eat Thai Lao food restaurant when you’re in Bueng Kan, Thailand! Total price - 1,000 THB for everything


                  • #10
                    Thai Farm Food

                    Located in the Isan region of Northeastern Thailand, along the mighty Mekong River, Nakhon Phanom is one of the most laid back provinces in Thailand. Today we’re in Ban Na Thon Village and the community has gather to cook local Thai Isan / Lao food, and we’re going to learn about their amazing culture. Really quickly - Nakhon Phanom is located along the Mekong River and is part of the Isan region of Thailand. But that being said, it’s across the river from Laos, and the people of Isan share the same culture and food from Lao. Ban Na Thon Village is a fantastic village, so laid back, friendly, and with a variety of homestays. We had the pleasure of spending a number of nights in this village where we did a lot of cooking and eating local food, and we also did a number of activities to learn about the local culture. For breakfast we had a number of pounded salads with long-beans, amazing grilled chicken, and sticky rice. For lunch, which was one of the biggest meals of the day, they made a huge amount of dishes - the highlights being the “bon kob,” a pounded frog chili dip and a buffalo skin chili dip. There was also an Isan food of raw pig’s blood coagulated into a jelly. I had eaten a couple times in Laos before. It was an amazing meal and great to eat with the community. For dinner and final meal they Aunty’s made a beautiful bowl of laap, and Isan style mixed meat salad and herbs, this time made with fish. Again, it was fantastic to learn about the culture of the amazing people and their Isan / Lao culture.