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How to eat Kanom Jeen Phuket style

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If you are partial to spicy noodle breakfast dishes such as kanom jeen, Phuket’s one of the best places to be as the locals here love extreme flavors and extra hot curry. There are many recommended forms of kanom jeen in Phuket such as kanom jeen mae ting, kanom jeen pa mai, kanom jeen saphanhin and kanom jeen bai sam.

Kanom jeen is a simple dish to enjoy at any time of day but most people have it at breakfast. Simply put, kanom jeen is cold rice noodles with the curry of your choice. There’s a lot of choice when it comes to curry sauces and toppings such as fish curry (nam ya pa), shredded fish curry (nam ya), crab curry (kang poo), beef curry (kang nua) and shrimp paste with chilies (nam choop yam) and of course the original local Phuket chili paste. Phuket’s kanom jeen typically comes with a generous side dish of vegetables made up of local fresh produce only found in southern Thailand such as bitter beans, man pu leaves (glochidion Perakense), luk niang and more. But there are also some more commonly known vegetables such as cucumbers, sliced pineapple, bean sprouts, long beans, eggplants and pickles. In other parts of Thailand kanom jeen is served with boiled eggs, but in Phuket, there are many creative ways to enjoy the dish. Here are a few.

‘Hor Mok’ or ‘Steamed Fish with Curry Paste’ – imagine hot steamed fish with curry paste mixed with the noodles: unique, creative and delicious.

‘Tot Man Pla’ or ‘Fried Fish-Paste Balls’ – For those who think their curry is not spicy enough, Tot man pla will get you spiced up.

‘Pa Tong Go’ or ‘Deep-Fried Dough Stick’ – Some people eat this dish with coffee or congee (rice soup). The texture of pa tong go is soft like a doughnut. There is no taste to it so it goes well with many mixes.

‘Kanom Sai Gai’ or ‘Coil-Shaped Pastry’ – This is a local Phuket snack and uses the same dough as pa tong go but kanom sai kai is crunchier. People usually slice the dough into small pieces and mix them into the curry.

‘Gai Tot’ or ‘Fried Chicken’ – As the noodles and curry don’t provide much protein fried chicken is the best choice of accompaniment. Slice the chicken into small pieces and mix with the curry before eating.

Wow! There’s such a variety of side dishes to go with kanom jeen to try out. I can guarantee that they’re all tasty and worth trying.