Kanom Jeen is what I like to call the Thai spaghetti because in Thailand, we serve these tender rice noodles with various types of sauces, and you can even go to restaurants where they specialize in kanom jeen and you can choose from a spread of different sauces!
“Namya” is arguably the most popular of all kanom jeen sauces, and this version is from the south of Thailand, where I grew up. My family used to frequent this street-side restaurant that sells nothing but kanom jeen namya, and it was the most unglamorous of places (no walls, just old wooden tables under a roof), but going there is one of my favourite food memories of all time! They also made it mild enough that even as a little kid, I was able to enjoy it (or maybe I was eating the kid’s version…I’m not really sure!).
This is not something you can easily find in Thai restaurants overseas, so definitely something you gotta make if you want to experience it! The key ingredient “grachai” is a bit hard to find, but you can buy it in brine in a glass jar at Asian grocery stores that carry a lot of Thai or Southeast Asian ingredients.
For full written recipes: http://hot-thai-kitchen.com/kanom-jeen-namya
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Pailin “Pai” Chongchitnant is the author of the Hot Thai Kitchen cookbook, co-host of a Canadian TV series One World Kitchen on Gusto TV, and creator and host of the YouTube channel Pailin’s Kitchen.
Pai was born and raised in southern Thailand where she spent much of her “playtime” in the kitchen. She traveled to Canada to study Nutritional Sciences at the University of British Columbia, and was later trained as a chef at Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in San Francisco.
After working in both Western and Thai professional kitchens, she decided that her passion really lies in educating and empowering others to cook at home via YouTube videos, her cookbook, and cooking classes. She currently lives in Vancouver, and goes to Thailand every year to visit her family. Visit her at http://hot-thai-kitchen.com