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Northern Thai Rice Noodle Soup with Pork Ribs, Dried Cotton Flowers, and Tomatoes (Khanom Jin Nam Ngiao)
Now that you know how to make prepare rice vermicelli (khanom jin) from dried noodles, let’s embark on a project. This northern Thai classic dish, khanom jin nam ngiao (ขนมจีนน้ำเงี้ยว) is probably better suited for a weekend than a weeknight, however. It’s not hard to make by any means (the paste is easy and much less complicated than, say, a central red curry). However, you’re dealing with spareribs which take a while to cook.
For more information about the recipe and tips on what you can omit or substitute with products that are easier to find, head over to Dill Magazine, a new publication that takes you on a journey deep into the cuisines of Asia—a smart, no-nonsense quarterly I’m so very proud to contribute to. [They have published my recipe as part of their premium content, so you need to create a free account to view it.]
Years ago when I first came to the US, one of the products that I missed the most was the type of rice vermicelli that the Thai people call khanom jin (ขนมจีน). The noodles weren’t available fresh anywhere, which is understandable considering how difficult it is to make them at all let alone on a large scale commercially. The dried noodles labeled as khanom jin (RTGS: khanom chin; also informally romanized kanom/khanom jeen) on the market were also of subpar quality. Some people used the Japanese dried somen noodles instead, but I found them to perform so poorly as a substitute for khanom jin that I didn’t bother with them. My only choice was to make peace with the fact that if I wanted to eat khanom jin without being disappointed, I would have to wait until my next trip to Thailand.
Then things started looking up when the local Asian markets in Chicago began carrying a product labelled “Guilin Vermicelli” which is extruded rice noodles in dried form. Once cooked, this product yields rice noodles that are as close to fresh khanom jin as I have found to date. Continue Reading →
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