Discovered this shop a couple of weeks ago during the ASEAN summit but figured that wasn’t a good time to be sending folks out on Petchkasem Road.
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. This includes a type of leafy lettuce, mint leaves, bits of green (as in unripe) bananas and green mango, and other things that lovers of Vietnamese food would recognize but this refugee from Texas just knows as weeds. The combination does taste interesting though and this dish is the most greens that FBF ever eats at one sitting. There is also chopped garlic, cucumber, and chilies.
Pictured (sorry for the lousy photo but was in a hurry) above is the grilled naem in the lower right of the dish. Above the naem is a pasta something that looks like kanom jin but isn’t. In the dish below are moistened squares of rice paper and the bowl of red above is a chili sauce with ground peanuts that is amazing.
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, a pinch of the kanom jin, various weeds, 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 unnamed shop with this delight is located about half way between Cha Am and Hua Hin across the road from the Narasuan Camp which houses the Ratchaniwet Marukhathaiyawan Palace. 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 so I would assume that you can eat it there in the salas 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 5 large skewers of naem and all the rabbit food you’ll need and goes for only 150 Baht. Not a bad deal at all for naem imported from Muk.
They open around 1100 but sometimes the naem isn’t delivered until closer to noon.
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