December 7, 2022


Life Must Change

Cooking with Pig Brains – A Conventional Northern Thai Dish (แอ๊บอ่องออ)

Aeb (แอ๊บ) is a well-liked northern Thai meals

Aeb (แอ๊บ), a bundle of meat, spices, and herbs, wrapped in a banana leaf, and grilled over hearth, is a quite common snack or gentle meal in northern Thailand.

From the second I had my first chew of aeb (แอ๊บ), I’ve been an enormous fan of this scrumptious little bundle.

Within the markets from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai, you’ll discover plenty of distributors specializing on this roasted deal with.

More often than not you’ll discover pork, small fish, or pla nin (tilapia) variations, the latter which occurs to be one in all my favorites.

And although it’s uncommon to search out nowadays, one of many extra conventional variations of northern Thai aeb (แอ๊บ) is made with pig brains, known as aeb ong aw (แอ๊บอ่องออ) in northern Thailand, or aeb samong moo (แอ๊บสมองหมู) in different elements of Thailand.

Tong Tung Restaurant (ร้านตองตึง)
Tong Tung Restaurant (ร้านตองตึง) in Chiang Rai, Thailand

Tong Tung (ร้านตองตึง) is a northern Thai restaurant in Chiang Rai.

They really don’t have pig mind aeb on their menu anymore, primarily as a result of simply not sufficient folks order it, so it’s not price holding it on the menu, stated the proprietor of the restaurant’s daughter.

However they graciously confirmed us the recipe and made it for us once we had been in Chiang Rai, filming for the Thai meals TV documentary.

ingredients in northern Thailand
Listed below are the substances, it’s fairly straightforward to pick the pig brains…!

The principle substances, as you in all probability already guessed by now, is pig brains.

Together with the pig brains, the opposite substances had been a sort of northern Thai curry paste that included the standard combination of shallots, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, garlic, plenty of dry chilies, and a bit of dab of shrimp paste.

We additionally included some finely shaved lime leaves, cilantro, and inexperienced onions.

cooking northern Thai food
Mixing pig brains with curry paste

Other than hand-pounding the Thai curry paste, which took some time as normal (it’s a labor of affection), the precise recipe for aeb ong aw (แอ๊บอ่องออ) was really fairly easy.

Take the brains, add in a number of scoops of curry paste, combine in some finely shaved kaffir lime leaves, after which season with salt.

It was my first time to ever prepare dinner, or to see methods to prepare dinner mind.

Pig mind is admittedly mushy and gentle, I assume I might type of examine it to thick yogurt or bitter cream, solely a bit of lumpier.

Anyway, I simply needed to say the feel, primarily to say that stirring is sort of robust – we needed to be delicate, not simply stir all out, however use extra of a folding motion to combine within the curry paste.

As soon as we had the combination, we wrapped it into banana leaves

As soon as we had a pleasant even combination, of mind and curry paste, it was then time to wrap the little packages into banana leaves (identified in Thai as bai tong ใบตอง).

We wrapped them in two layers of banana leaves, primarily to verify the banana leaf would maintain up in the course of the grilling course of.

After filling the pig mind combination right into a banana leaf, we merely folded them up right into a sq. form, and fixed the little packets with a toothpick.

Aeb ong aa (แอ๊บอ่องออ) is cooked over charcoal or hearth

The aeb ong aw (แอ๊บอ่องออ) then went to the grill, and I believe they cooked for about quarter-hour or so, over a low hearth.

The banana leaves started to char on the skin, however left the contents type of smoked and steamed on the identical time.

aeb ong aa (แอ๊บอ่องออ)
A contemporary bundle of aeb ong aa (แอ๊บอ่องออ)

After I had my first spoonful of uncooked pig’s blood soup, I used to be shocked at how good it was, and if it wasn’t so probably harmful (worms and parasites), I’d in all probability eat it regularly.

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For aeb ong aw (แอ๊บอ่องออ) however, it was superb, and the seasoning and preparation was wonderful, however I assume pig brains are total not my favourite.

A part of the reason being that any sort of mind is extraordinarily fatty, and principally so wealthy which you can’t actually eat a variety of it – and for those who do eat an excessive amount of, it’s type of a type of meals the place hastily you hit a wall, must cease, and might’t take one other chew.

how to eat pig brain
Consuming pig brains in Chiang Rai, Thailand

The feel of the aeb ong aw (แอ๊บอ่องออ) was someplace between scrambled eggs, mozzarella cheese, and peanut butter. It was clean, buttery, and barely sticky.

Little creamy nuggets of pig brains (แอ๊บอ่องออ)

The complete aeb (แอ๊บ) was pig mind, however like you’ll be able to see on this picture above, some elements of the mind had been extra scrambled egg wanting, whereas different elements of the mind seemed like little white lumps – these had been the intense creamy nuggets – so wealthy and so fatty.

After consuming a full bundle and starting on the second, I began to get a bit of “rich-ed out,” if that’s a time period I can use for overdosing on richness (“lian เลี่ยน” in Thai).

So the decision, aeb ong aw (แอ๊บอ่องออ) was that it was a pleasure to study and to eat in small parts, however I simply couldn’t eat an excessive amount of of it in a single sitting.

A northern Thai dish often called kanom jeen nam ngeow (ขนมจีนน้ำเงี้ยว)

After we completed getting ready and consuming th eaeb ong aw (แอ๊บอ่องออ), we then ate a extra substantial lunch, and the mom (proprietor of the restaurant) ready us a scrumptious pot of kanom jeen nam ngeow (ขนมจีนน้ำเงี้ยว).

Nam ngeow (น้ำเงี้ยว) is a well-liked northern Thai dish, a tomatoey soup .

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This was one of many higher variations I’ve had in Chiang Rai, though I just like the Chiang Mai model higher. We additionally had a lot of different northern Thai dishes, however we had been all so hungry that I wasn’t in a position to snap any pics of them.

All of the meals we tried at Tong Tung Restaurant (ร้านตองตึง) was fairly good.

Scrumptious lunch

After I was in Chiang Rai, one in all our missions was to study and eat a few of the extra unique conventional dishes obtainable.

One of many dishes northern Thailand is legendary for is one thing known as aeb, a bit of bundle of meat and spices, wrapped in a banana leaf, and roasted.

Fish and pork variations are frequent to search out out there and at eating places, however these days, although nonetheless obtainable, the pig mind model, often called aeb ong aw (แอ๊บอ่องออ) or aeb samong moo (แอ๊บสมองหมู), is much less and fewer frequent.

We headed to Ran Tong Tung (ร้านตองตึง) restaurant to prepare dinner aeb ong aw (แอ๊บอ่องออ), the pig mind model. It was very fascinating to see methods to make it, and to eat it as properly.

On a aspect word, Ran Tong Tung (ร้านตองตึง), is a good restaurant in Chiang Rai for all types of northern Thai meals, not simply aeb ong aw (แอ๊บอ่องออ).

Tackle: Rop Wiang, Mueang Chiang Rai, 57000
Open hours: 10:30 am – 2 pm for lunch, 4 pm – 10 pm for dinner
Cellphone: 053-716-162

ที่อยู่ 1/1 หมู่ 14 ถ.สนามบิน ต.รอบเวียง เมือง เชียงราย 57000
โทร. 053-716-162
เปิดบริการทุกวัน 10.30 – 14.00 น. และ 16.00 – 22.00 น