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MAE HONG SON (แม่ฮ่องสอน), THAILAND – Welcome to the beautiful province of Mae Hong Son in Northern Thailand, home to a large community of Shan, or a Thai Yai (ไทใหญ่) people. We had the privilege to spend a few days Muang Pon, a Shan village, where I learned so much about their culture, and especially the unique Shan food.
This was actually my first full Shan meal, and I was blown away by the incredible flavors, spices, and ingredients used in their cooking. Shan / Thai Yai (ไทใหญ่) is very different from Thai food. Shan food is influenced by Burmese food, Southern Chinese food, and still its own cuisine. The Shan use something called “tua nao” or fermented soy beans in almost every dish. It’s one of their main signature ingredients for flavoring boosting umami. For this incredible Shan food meal, we had a number of local dishes. One of the main dishes was a local Shan chicken curry, which was fantastic. Another dish they cooked was “lung” of Shan meatballs – which I think could be the best meatballs in the world. For these meatballs, they made them with frog and tons of spices and chilies. Although they didn’t fully stick together, the taste was outstanding, the best meatballs I’ve ever had.
It was an amazing Shan food meal and an amazing experience to hang out in Muang Pon village.
📍 Thank you to the Homestay in Muang Pon village (https://goo.gl/maps/i4HsXTQDEzJdnHQa6). You can contact them to stay there and cook meals for you here: https://www.facebook.com/ecbykroopui/ Highly recommended, an amazing place to learn about the culture of the Shan people, stay in a 100 year old traditional Shan house, and eat delicious Shan food!
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