Wall Painting Exhibition “Kua Fai”

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ครัวไฟ Kua Fai is a northern Thai word literary means kitchen. This exhibition is inspired by northern Thai dishes to become these cutie characters. This collaborative wall painting was done by a group of friends —  AnnatarTapanon SuwancanitI am GugggarMochikaka , Nokhookdesign

We want to make a lot of northern Thai dishes to be well known apart from some common names that are already popular for tourists.
They are our favourite dishes and some are seasonal that you can only find them in a limited time of the year.
All the lovely food will take you to the wonderland of northern Thai food. Let’s get to know them — they are friendly and finger-licking tasty.

01. พริกทอด หน่ออั่ว Prik Thod and Nor Ua — These two friends are stuffed chilli and bamboo shoot. Minced pork is stuffed inside and then deep fry to make ordinary vegetable tastes more yummy. Even kids can eat because they are not spicy.

02. แคบหมู Keab Moo — Pork crackling is the beloved snack and side dish. It can be eaten alone as you have crisps in front of TV or have it with main dish. Keab Moo or pork crackling is a deep fried pork skin. The variations of Keab Moo are widely available in market to suit your appetites — whether non-fat or with fat. A crispy Keab Moo dipped with chilli paste and hot sticky rice, it’s the way we feel at home.

03. ลาบคั่ว ข้าวเหนียว Laab Kua — is a spicy minced meat (pork, chicken, fish, duck, beef, buffalo, etc.) eaten raw or cooked. Meat is minced by knife while chef adds a special chilli powder, spices and herbs little by little to mix them well with the meat. The chilli powder is also a secret of each house’s recipe. Laab Kua is a cooked one to make it easier to eat for those who concern about hygiene. Laab is often eaten with sticky rice — it’s not a rule but we recommend.

04. ปูอ่อง Puu Ong — crab fat (field crab) mixed with eggs and some seasoning, steamed or grilled in a crab shell, this is one of the rare menu as it comes in some particular seasons. Dip with hot glutinous rice is the best way to eat. Puu Ong is also found in other part such

as northeastern. The dish is a clever way of how farmers deal with crabs in their rice fields. From a menu widely eaten in rural area, it now paves the way to city market to gain more popularity among city dwellers.

05. แมงมันทอด Maeng Man — Deep fried ‘Meang Man’ is a pricy and rare dish of the north. Maeng Man or subterranean ants can only be found in the beginning of rainy season. You cannot predict where to find them as its habitat is random and mysterious. Once a single Meang Man is seen, you will have to search for its nest to collect tons of them.

06. จิ้นส้มหมก Jin Som — is fermented pork wrapped in banana leaves. Garlic, chilli, and rice are mixed with raw meat and then wrap tightly in banana leaves. After a few days, meat becomes sour and tasty. It is often grilled before served. Sometimes, raw egg is added inside the wrapping for a more delicious bite.

07. น้ําพริกหนุ่ม Nampriknoom — Grilled green chilli with other ingredients (garlic, sugar, fish sauce for example) are mixed together to create the smooth texture of green chilli dip. Nampriknoom is one of the most popular northern Thai food. Though it is made of chilli, this green dip is not that spicy. You should try it with the pork crackling as they are often served together like fish and chips.

08. แกงฮังเล Kaeng Hang Lay — A dish derived from Burma, the curry ingredients consist of historical background as they reflect the close relationship between Burma, Indian, and Lanna Kingdom (northern Thailand in present day). Taste and variations are different in each region it has travelled. Kaeng Hang Lay developed its own taste and style to become a signature dish of Chiang Mai cuisine. This one is often found in a northern Thai style lunch.

09. แกงกระด้าง Kaeng Kradang — It is a little bit cold in winter in the north of Thailand so the regional ‘Kaeng Kradang’ or frozen soup was created. A pork stock with meat (normally pork leg because of its high fat) is cooked and then let it cool down. The fat in the stock will be- come solid and jelly-like. Todays, some restaurants might add a little of gelatin to make it firm quickly. The nickname of this menu is ‘Moo Now’ or cold pig.

10. ไส้อั่ว Sai Aua — This northern style sausage is one of the most common found in northern Thai table. It may look similar to western style sausage yet the way it is made is different. A pig’s intestine is cleaned before spicy minced pork and herbs are stuffed inside. The perfect way to cook is grill on charcoal for the superb aroma.

11. เห็ดถอบ Hed Thop — The one being blamed as the origin of forest fire in northern Thailand every year, Hed Thop would like to defend it is innocent to that accusation. This amazing mushroom only grows in a forest once a year. The best location is a dry dipterocarp forest, near plant root, and under the ground. It requires appropriate dampness and dryness, with balance heat and water. That is why it usually found in the area where the forest was recently burned and after a rainfall. (The reason why a forest is burned is ‘written in the air’. Hed Thop is not a reason of the fire, it’s a consequence.) Even today, scientist still cannot find a sustainable way to grow this kind of mushroom so it is very expensive. Hed Thop is often cooked with tamarind leaves in a spicy soup or stirred-fried with chilli.

12. ไข่ป่าม Khai Pham — charcoal-grilled omelette in small banana leaves. Add seasoning and topping as you prefer, this easy-to-make menu is favoured among kids. Best served either snacks or main dish.

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