Thailand

For a deep dive into Thai food, head to the Isaan region in the northeastern part of the country. Visit Famous Restaurants From Mango Tree’s Recipe Book – Travel Watch

For a deep dive into Thai food, head to the Isaan region in the northeastern part of the country. Visit Famous Restaurants From Mango Tree’s Recipe Book – Travel Watch


Visit Northeastern Thailand on a tour sponsored by the Tourism Authority of Thailand

I went to Northeastern Thailand on a tour sponsored by the Tourism Authority of Thailand. In fact, this trip is a rare trip in cooperation with the Thai restaurant “Mango Tree”.

Since its opening in Marunouchi, Tokyo in 2002, “Mango Tree Tokyo” has been supported by many gourmets and is known as a restaurant where you can enjoy authentic Thai food. In April 2018, Mr. Yoshio Kojima, who represents Mango Tree Japan, published a book titled “Mango Tree Kitchen Recipes for 32 Popular Menus and Traditional Dishes in the Isan Area”.

Head to the Isan region in the Tohoku region to find the deep charm of Thai food

  • Visit famous restaurants from the Mango Tree recipe book
  • Sound and light show at Phimai Historical Park, one of the largest Khmer ruins in Thailand.Traditional Dim Sum Making Experience
  • Mango Tree Recipe Cooking Class Experience in Isaan and Bangkok, Northwest Thailand
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    Mr. Yoshio Kojima, CEO of Mango Tree Japan, holds a cookbook. The trip was accompanied by President Kojima.

    This time, we visited restaurants in the Isan area listed in the recipe book and took a cooking class.

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    At Suvarnabhumi International Airport, after immigration clearance, you will receive your checked luggage at Narita Airport.

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    When in transit, move from the international arrivals floor on the 2nd floor to the departures floor on the 4th floor

    So, I am targeting the Isan region in Northeast Thailand, which is a first for me personally. I fly from Haneda and Narita from Tokyo to Bangkok, but this time I will fly from Narita. In the morning, take Thai Airways flight TG641 from Narita Airport to Udon Thani International Airport via Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport.

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    Thai Smile Airways check-in counter. Check your bags here before proceeding to the security checkpoint.

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    I boarded flight TG2008 of Thai Smile Airways.Operated by Airbus A320-200

    I use Thai Smile Air for domestic flights, which is the airline of Thai Airways’ parent company. We draw a clear line with LCC. Although the flight time was about an hour, a simple in-flight meal and drink was provided for free, and I was a bit hungry, which I appreciated.

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    3-3 arrays.A type that does not have a separate monitor and is installed everywhere from the ceiling

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    In-flight sandwiches in cute carry-on bags

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    Arrive at Udon Thani International Airport on time at 19:15

    Dinner on the first day, experience Isaan cuisine for the first time at a government-approved local restaurant

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    food tour, the first

    The restaurant “Krua Khun Nid”, which is about 20 minutes by bus from Udon Thani International Airport, is said to be “a well-known restaurant that won the Isaan Food Competition” according to the recipe. It is said to be a restaurant for government officials and embassies of various countries, but the unpretentious interior decoration makes people feel the local style.

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    Krua Khun Nid is an Isaan cuisine restaurant. Even the locals come to eat.

    I thought I didn’t have much of an appetite since I’d already eaten the in-flight sandwich, but that was a huge miscalculation. Tom Yum Kung coconut, green curry sausage, som tam, pork salad lard, etc., “spicy”, “sour”, “salty”, “sweet” are all wonderful! Plus, it’s non-greasy and healthy, with plenty of herbs and spices to keep your stomach and mind healthy.

    Most importantly, my favorite dessert, Khaonhao Mamuang, is an exquisite dish that has been etched in my heart as the first Khaonhao Mamuang in my life.

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    I like to pile the herbs in a colander that most likely was at my parents’ house. The glutinous rice served in bamboo baskets is also delicious, so you can eat as much as you want.

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    Thai dessert “Khao Niew Ma Muang”. The sticky and delicious taste of glutinous rice is the best I have ever tasted.The rich sweetness of mango is also good

    The accommodation of the first day and the second day is at the hotel “Centara Hotel & Convention Center Udon Thani” in the center of Udon Thani. It is a large hotel integrating conference hall, banquet hall, SPA, swimming pool, tennis court, etc. The vibrant atrium space is spectacular as you step off the elevator to your guest room. The rooms are simple, spacious and comfortable.

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    nice lobby lounge

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    Atrium space is cool

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    Second-hand Superior Twin Room

    To Nonghan Lake full of red water lilies

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    The best season is from December to early February every year

    This tour includes sightseeing and meals. On the second day, we went to Nonghan Lake, which is about 43 kilometers southeast of Udon Thani City. The lake is famous for its red water lilies that bloom from December to February. However, it can only be seen in the early morning. The flowers close around noon, so you have to go early in the morning.

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    I leave the hotel at 7 am so I eat lunch on the bus for breakfast.

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    Morning in Udon Thani city

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    gradually i can see it from the car window

    It takes more than an hour to arrive at Nonghan Lake from the hotel. Near the large parking lot, there is a scenery like a sightseeing spot, and souvenir stands are lined up. Usually buy tickets here. Since we are traveling with a group, we don’t care about the price, but according to the price, a boat costs 500 baht (about 1750 yen, 1 baht = about 3.5 yen). The boat can accommodate 5-6 people so the price per person is very reasonable.

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    Reach the lake. There are long queues at stalls selling sun hats.various snacks

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    maybe it’s an instagram point

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    many ships are waiting

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    Thai people are always smiling

    Before visiting here, I had fancied that the water lilies could be seen from the shore of the lake, but that was not the case. I watched with excitement as the pink color of the distant water gradually approached.

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    In the picturesque place of egrets. Occasional flocks of waterfowl fly overhead, creating a serene scene.

    The boat stops its engines and moors in an area of ​​lush water lilies. The standard here is to sit on the bow and take a commemorative photo (probably). The beauty of the blooming water lilies within reach is too beautiful to take many shots. By the way, I asked the boatman about the depth of the lake. He said it was about 1 meter and 50 centimeters. I was able to fully enjoy the stunning scenery that can only be seen this time of year.

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    Commemorative photo of the tip of the ship

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    bright red is beautiful

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    The colorful boats, the national flag fluttering, complement the scenery, I can’t help but pat

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    Trial and error by changing angles (such as standing or sitting on a boat)

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    Return to shore after staying in crowded areas for about 30 minutes

    Experience the essence of spicy Isaan cuisine in a cooking class

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    Try Isaan cuisine with lots of red and green chillies, garlic and ginger

    After leaving the lake, I headed to the restaurant “Chabaa Barn E-san Vintage Kitchen” on the outskirts of Udon Thani. This is the first cooking class of the trip, and the location is a restaurant with a beautiful garden.

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    Thai staff are cooking teachers

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    Cooking classes in a stylish building usually used as a restaurant

    The two items to be made are the representative salad “Som Tam” of the Isan area and the spicy soup “Tom Cep”. Start with som tam made from unripe green papaya. Prepare these materials, a large millstone and a stick. It seems that many Thai households have unglazed stone mills like cooking utensils, and they use a stick called a sak to tap, break, and grind ingredients for cooking. So I’ll throw in the peppers and garlic and crush them.

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    Just the look of this prepared ingredient is mesmerizing. This is the material of Som Tam and grinding stone.

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    Som Tam production teacher. You can make beautiful som tam with your hands in no time.

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    In Japan, raw green beans are eaten fresh in cubes rather than cooked.

    When I tried it this time, I was amazed that all the ingredients and spices of Som Tam were placed in a stone mill and cooked with a stone stick! It looks like the taste changes depending on how you crush and break it, so the teacher tasted what we made and gave us advice like “more salt”, “not enough lime”, or “more sugar”. After trying various flavors, I concluded that the teacher’s is the best. Mmm, rich Isaan cuisine!

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    In Som Tam, Som means “sour” and Tam means “to hit”.

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    It’s starting to look like that.put this on a plate

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    Thai blue papaya salad, som tam done! The utensils are so cute~♪

    The second item is a spicy soup from the Isaan region called “tomcep”. This is also a representative dish of the Isan region that uses a lot of herbs and spices.

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    Move to the room and make “Tomsep”

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    Add the lemongrass and tomatoes to the water along with the chicken broth and bring to a simmer.

    Depending on the amount of seasoning, this tomcep also has a slightly different taste and aftertaste. It is obviously the same method, but for some reason, the teacher’s recipe skillfully combines spicy, sour and salty tastes. By the way, the characteristic of Isan cuisine is that it does not contain much sugar. The culture of fermented food is also deeply rooted in the region, and it is said that insects such as grasshoppers and ant eggs have been used as a source of protein since ancient times. It was interesting to see the differences in Thai food culture.

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    boiling.Refreshing Lemongrass Scent

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    Various seasonings. Interestingly, each of them can have a different flavor with just a few spoonfuls.

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    ask the teacher to taste

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    Put in the pre-treated soft pork cartilage

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    Complete Soup Spicy Soup

    As soon as I heard that insect food was taking root, I had a dish for lunch, ant egg salad! I was a little hesitant and said, “This white grain is Mr. Ali’s…”, but I took the plunge. Because it is seasoned spiciness, it feels mild and just right when you eat it. I didn’t expect to be eaten normally~.

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    In addition to the two products we make ourselves, we also offer selected menus from restaurants.Everything is spicy except glutinous rice

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    Dessert is a comforting dish flavored with sweet syrup and coconut milk.

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    A recommended restaurant where you can slowly enjoy Isan cuisine in a restaurant surrounded by tropical plants and flowers.

    Bike around border towns

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    Stop at a market full of locals

    After the cooking class, we drove about 60 kilometers north to a border town overlooking the Mekong. A bicycle is provided here. We enjoyed a city tour of about 6km by bike, stopping at the market on the way.

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    Cycling on the Mekong River on the Laos border

    The market passing by on the way sells fresh and colorful vegetables and herbs, all kinds of noodles, and various chicken nuggets and frogs used as ingredients. My dream is to come to a fun market to shop every day.

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    A market full of locals. Abundant ingredients represent an attractive food culture.

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    Chinese cabbage kimchi! ?

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    I wonder if I’m getting into soup?full of bird legs

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    Frog skewers.It looks very tasty

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    Passing through such a peaceful landscape…

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    Arrive at restaurants along the Mekong River

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    dramatic scenery at dusk

    The ride ends at ‘Hat kham’, a trendy cafe and restaurant along the Mekong River. We had an elegant dinner here while watching the Laotian sunset across the river. In the “Life on the Mekong” set meal, crispy fried fish and fragrant grilled chicken wings are served with special sauce, which is very delicious. The precious experience of watching the sunset in a neighboring country in a small border town is an unforgettable memory.

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    Laos sunset on the other side

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    Four seasonings: fish sauce, red pepper powder, pickled red pepper, sugar

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    Ladies hail the way to decorate flowers in a tropical way

    So far, I have told you everything from the departure from Narita on the first day to the second day. At first, my stomach was amazed by the spiciness of the Ishan dish, but by the end of the second day, I was hooked. Yukipyu is used to “hot and sour” food. Next time, I will tell you about the BBQ experience on the organic farm, the dessert making in the village, and the visit to the Pimai ruins. expect!





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