One of the biggest highlights of getting out of the Big Mango and heading up North is that the closer you get to Vietnam, the more local Vietnamese food you find and you don't even have to leave Thailand. By the time my Air Asia plan lands on the runway of Nakhon Phanom airport, I am already salivating about all the food that I am going to eat. You can find pricey imitations in Bangkok but nothing beats the real thing.
Hands down, my absolute favorite dish is Naem Nueang.
Pork is minced and seasoned and cooked over a barbecue on skewers. Along side the pork you have rice paper wrappers that will be soaked in water and used to wrap up the pork along with the other toppings. Also included is chopped garlic, cucumber, green banana, Thai chilies, sour starfruit, rice vermicelli noodles and assortment of fresh vegetables. The sauce is sweet and topped with crush peanuts.
The flavors of all the different tastes mixed together make for an incredible dish.
And what is even more awesome is that all of the restaurants that sell it have cute take away boxes designed for you to take home as souvenirs so that you can continue to enjoy this local delicacy long after you have left North Eastern Thailand.
This is your opportunity to share the love and score some points with your Thai coworkers and neighbors.