The main dishes today are not served with rice. Instead, we had them with what some people call Thai spaghetti. The Thai people themselves call them “khanom jeen” which makes you think that it is a kind of Chinese dessert. But really, it comes from a Mon word “kanom jin”. When the Thais adopted this dish, they either misheard the name, or just couldn’t spell very well. In English, we would call it fermented rice vermicelli. There are a number of different dishes that you can have with these noodles. The one today is called khanom jeen nam yaa. It is a fish curry with wild ginger. There are variations around the country. In the north, they use pork instead of fish. In the northeast, they use dried bird’s eye chillies and no coconut milk. And in the south, they use turmeric and dried prawns. This cost us 20 baht for the curry, 5 baht for the noodles and 5 baht for the boiled egg. We added our own vegetables.
You can eat this chicken curry with either “khanom jeen” or rice. I personally prefer rice, but it did make a nice change today to have it with noodles. The actual curry is made in the normal way for green curry. You just add bamboo shoots which are very tasty. This was 30 baht including khanom jeen.
The dessert today is “khanom piak poon” which is sometimes translated as rice flour custard. Though it is firmer than what we would normally call custard. You basically stir together rice flour, tubular flour, palm sugar and saturated red lime juice. It is cooked over a high heat until it turns sticky and thick. To make the green version you need to soak pandanus leaves in water. The black comes from burnt coconut skin. It is not a bad taste and I quite enjoyed eating it. These three only cost 10 baht.