Hey, y’all! I invite you to escape to Thailand with me and tour Northeastern Thailand via Zoom this October 22, 2020. Let’s explore together the distinct, amazing culture of Issan, as the region is called, and sample its rustic yet gloriously flavorful cuisine.
This online event is a cook-along experience where I supply the ingredients and some of the tools you’ll need. Of course, if you don’t feel like cooking with me, you can simply watch me as I demo how to make the delicious Issan dishes on the menu.
So, what do you say? Do say yes and tour Northeastern Thailand with me. You can sign up here: https://bit.ly/34eDWZK
What makes Issan distinct from the rest of Thailand?
Covering around 62,000 square miles, the region of Issan makes up a third of Thailand’s total land area. The region is mostly flat, though a mountain range separates it from Thailand’s northern and central provinces. Issan has its share of busy, cosmopolitan cities, but the way of life there remains mostly focused on farming.
The people of Issan call themselves khon Issan or Thai Lao. Their culture has much in common with the people of Laos, the border of which lies just to the east. Khon Issan have their own language as well.
The food of Northeastern Thailand is famous for its pungent flavors and mouth-burning spiciness. They are usually prepared with fresh herbs and seasoned with fish sauce, shrimp paste, and fermented fish they call plah rah. The Issan people often have sticky rice with these dishes. Some of their dishes have reached iconic status in Thailand’s cuisine.
Some of Thailand’s iconic dishes come from Northeastern Thailand
As we tour Northeastern Thailand virtually, we shall be making two of the region’s iconic dishes:
The fame of this dish has transcended the borders of Issan and even that of Thailand itself. It’s no surprise that papaya salad is known throughout the world, as it’s easy to make yet so rich in flavor. Crisp green papaya, tomato, chili, garlic, and green beans make up this salad. These ingredients are then tossed in lime juice, palm sugar, and fish sauce. Shrimp paste and fermented fish give the salad that distinct Issan touch.
Steak and nam jim jaew
This dish is the best partner for papaya salad. The jaew or dipping sauce that accompanies the steak elevates the dish and makes it even more delicious.
It won’t be an Issan feast without sticky rice.
And because this is a feast of Northeastern Thailand cuisine, we shall toast it with some sparkling.
Tour Northeastern Thailand is the second part of my Escape to Thailand series
“Let’s Tour Northeastern Thailand” is the second of my four-part Escape to Thailand series. The first part was the free introductory event “Welcome to Nikky’s Thailand”; you can read the recap here: https://bit.ly/2FoJo3H.
The rest of the series are:
Celebrate Yi Peng in Chiang Mai—October 30
Participate virtually in one of the most magical events in the Thai cultural calendar: Yi Peng or Thai Full Moon Festival.
Holidays in Bustling Bangkok—December 16
Discover how Thai people, especially those in Bangkok, observe Christmas and New Year.
Join me and let’s tour Northeastern Thailand virtually together. It’s a beautiful place that you’ll want to see for yourself.
See you there!