Naem Nuang is an Essan version of a Vietnamese dish based on Vietnamese pork sausage. As with many Vietnamese dishes, it is served with a wide variety of rabbit food.
Pictured is the grilled naem in the top dish along with chopped garlic and some small whole peppers. A yet-to-be-chopped sausage link may be seen the lower right of the photo. To the right of the chopped naem and garlic is a bowl with chopped cucumber, chopped green banana and chopped green mango. The tray of greens holds a fresh leafy lettuce, fresh mint, fresh basil and a couple of other greens I’m not familar with. The white squares at the bottom are rice papaer which are allowed to sit it water for a moment or two to soften up prior to rolling your own. The bowl of red in the middle is a chili sauce with ground peanuts that is amazing. The chili sauce is a mixture of white sugur, tamarind juice, fish sauce, ground chilis and ground peanuts.
Naem Nuang is sort of a roll-your-own-spring roll. To make it, one takes a lettuce leaf and flattens it out and places a square of rice paper on that. Then you add a bit of garlic, green banana, green mango, various greens of your choosing, a couple of good chunks of naem and top that off with a good dollop of the chili sauce. Then you attempt to fold it into a container that will fit in your mouth without the sauce dripping everywhere.
This is not a good meal to eat with Maekong. Beer’s OK but a good hotter-than-hot chili sauce needs chasing with liquid and too much Maekong and you’ll soon have chili sauce in all the wrong places. Stick with beer or water as the chaser.
The shop, Mae Mai Mu Yaw, is located about half way between Cha Am and Hua Hin across the road from the Narasuan Army Camp. Across the street from the entrance to the camp and the helicopter pad is the well known Essan restaurant, Sap Eli. Just north of the Sap Eli parking lot is a small shop with a few salas with tables. In addition to Naem Nuang, they also sell some OTOPS type products from Mukdahan where they get their Naem.
We’ve always gotten it to go but they offer to heat the naem for you and now they have a proper sit down restaurant so you can eat it there as you watch the traffic go by. Grabbing a box and eating it with your Gai Yang and Somtom at Sap Eli is probably doable also.
An order includes 8 large skewers of naem and all the rabbit food you’ll need and goes for only 290 Baht. Not a bad deal at all for naem imported from Muk.
The shop now opens around 0700 and now offers Kai GaTa ไข่กะทะ. For more about this great breakfast dish, click here.