The Hills of Lanna

Northern Thailand has retained much of its native Lanna culture, language and customs.  Its cuisine is inspired by the foods and flavours of neighboring Myanmar, Laos and Yunnan Province in China.

When I found out that Sunisa (owner of Sunisas Original Thai-Restaurant in Schwetzingen) is from Chiangmai, I knew I had to convince her to prepare a Northern Thai meal for Food Explorers.

My dream came true with this 8-dish menu:

“Sai Ua” is one of Chiang Mai’s must-try street foods – minced meat infused with a gorgeous blend of aromatic herbs and spices, stuffed into chitterlings and cooked to perfection!

Originally a Shan (Tai Yai) dish, the people of Lanna have made this rice noodle dish their very own – “Khanom Jeen Naam Ngeow” is comfort food that is tart, hearty and spicy.

“Gaeng Hang Lay” is another Shan dish adopted and popularised by the people of northern Thailand – rich and meaty, lush with fragrant dried spices, soured with tamarind and spiced with plenty of fresh ginger and garlic, this pork curry is to Chiang Mai natives what “Gaeng Keow Wan” (green curry) is to Bangkok people.

Sunisa included one of her own creations in the menu – “Gai Nng” – succulent pieces of chicken meat marinated in 15 herbs and spices, and steamed with seasonal vegetables.

“Nam Prik Ong” is a spicy pork and tomato chilli dip synonymous with Northern Thai cuisine.  Goes very well with raw and blanched vegetables (crispy fried pork rinds are optional).

The spiciest dish of the evening was “Larb Nuea”, a traditional Lao beef salad with fresh herbs – pungent and spicy, the meat forming an especially satisfying contrast to the piquant taste of the herbs.

“Khao Soi” is Northern Thailand’s iconic noodle dish with roots in Myanmar and Yunnan – it combines the richness and spiciness of a good curry with hearty noodles and a diversity of tart, crunchy and spicy condiments.  Your trip to Northern Thailand won’t be complete without devouring at least one bowl!

Our culinary journey through the hills of Lanna concluded with”Khanom Piah”, a type of baked flaky pastry biscuits filled with a lightly sweetened paste of grounded mung beans refined with pandan essence.  Very similar to Penang’s “Tau Sar Pneah”.

So far, only two of the dishes listed above is available à la carte at Sunisa’s – “Larb Nuea”, and “Khao Soi”.   Go check them out!

Sunisa’s Original Thaifood, Dreikönigstraße 11, 68723 Schwetzingen

Looking for more ideas on where to dine in the Rhein-Neckar region?

Check out other reviews of places where Food Explorers have eaten.

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