Saturday, 4 April 2009
Fermented Fish Sauce, Kanom Jeen Noodles, Isaan Thailand.
Now I am iron gutted, I can eat just about anything and will try almost anything. Yesterday I was sitting in the bedroom working at the computer when I was hit with a smell that is so hard to describe.
I wandered into the kitchen and Miss Noot was at work.
Miss Noot was busy getting all the ingredients ready for her lunch.
This was the culprit of the revolting smell. For anyone who has been to Thailand and smelt fermented fish sauce, they will understand the disgusting and putrid smell that wafts off of it.
When you boil the fish sauce it is meant to stop it from smelling as bad, this isn’t possible. I have seen this sauce with maggots wriggling around on the surface. When I pointed this out I was told they add taste.
This is Mekong fish; we were given some from our visit to Noot’s, grandfather’s village. The fish had been steamed.
The fish flesh is then broken away from the bones and placed into a mortar and then you take the pestle and crush. You do have to try and pick the larger bones out before doing this.
This is fresh salad ready to be added to the finished product.
This is Kanom Jeen, a fermented rice noodle. It is very popular here in Isaan.
And the finished product, the noodles with the sauce on top. Kanom Jeen can be eaten with a variety of sauces, but many Thais like it with fermented fish sauce. I have tried it like this but do not like it. I prefer the sweeter sauces that you can choose, some ere even like a runny spaghetti sauce.
So after all the hard work, Miss Noot could sit down and enjoy her work of art. I was offered a taste test but kindly declined, I was then given an ultimatum, so I had a small mouthful and as I expected; it was terrible. Very bitter and such a strong fish flavour. The worst is the smell; I just cannot get past the rotten smell of the sauce.
Have any of you tried fermented fish sauce be it in papaya salad or with kanom jeen. What are your thoughts on this true Thai cuisine?