DINING OUT - RECIPES BY NOI
Chiang Mai Bread
The wonderful rye bread from
Chiang Mai Bread is a masterpiece of bready perfection.
By Nicôle le Strange
Chiang Mai Bread is owned by local baker, Noo, who started
her business last year, supplying bread to restaurants,
friends, and neighbours, plus selling her products through
her local school. When she decided to take her business to
Facebook, in order to target the private market, business
really started booming.
This year, Noo’s bread has been so successful that she has
extended her line, and now offers delicious home-made
products to go with her bread; peanut butter (with no added
salt or sugar), hummus (with plenty of garlic – yum!), and
more recently, a seasonal mango salsa (which I have yet to
Another recent innovation is that Noo now makes all of her
products 100% vegan. It goes without saying that she only
uses natural ingredients too.
salsa is a delight.
It’s no secret that for most Westerners
in Chiang Mai, Thai bread leaves a lot to be desired; like a
lot of baked goods here, the bread seems to be made from
nothing but air and sugar, all held together with a goodly
dose of fun! I first came to live here in 2012, and I still
cannot get my head around the sweetness of the bread. I
bought some rolls the other day - they looked innocent
enough; however, they turned out to be closer to currant
buns (sans currants) than bread rolls… which might have been
okay, had I not filled them with tuna and mayonnaise.
No such issues with Noo’s breads though; whether it’s her
baguettes (white and wholemeal), rye bread, or wholewheat
loaves, each one is a masterpiece of bready perfection. She
offers free delivery within the city limits too (I live on
Nimmanhaemin - delivery here is not a problem), and if you
are very lucky, your bread will still be warm from the oven
when it arrives. In fact, my first delivery not only
contained oven-fresh bread but my hummus had also only just
been made. That’s what I call fresh! Noo’s peanut butter is
utterly delicious too, with a deep, rich, almost smoky
flavour. As well as having it on toast, and in peanut butter
and jam sandwiches (be still, my rumbling tummy!), it’s
great to cook with, especially in curries. And satays too,
Prices range from ?20 for a baguette, up to ?80 for a large
rye boule, with the other loaves falling between the two.
Hummus comes in three sizes, which are priced between
?70-?250 (sizes 125g-1kg), and peanut butter is ?50 for a
180g jar. The mango salsa is ?150 for 250g.
You can find Noo and her wares on her Facebook page, here
https://www. facebook.com/cmbread , and place an order by
emailing Noo, or her husband, Ruud, at [email protected]
RECIPES BY NOI: Kang Pla Som Yod Som Poi
(Sour Fish soup with Som Poi )
Kang Pla Som is fish soup with sour taste. We can add lime
juice or kaffir lime juice to give it sourly but there’s a
vegetable that is really perfectly good for the soup as
well. We called it Som Poi. This vegetable looks like Acacia
/Cha Om but Cha Om is a little bit bitter, Som Poi is sour
that’s why we call it Som Poi. Som is sour and Poi is to
release or to let go. In this case it means to clear or
remove bad things. Another name for the vegetable is
Sambong, it has many useful properties in herbal medicines.
It’s one of holy plants in addition to Phudsa (monkey apple
leaves) and Bai Nhad (Blumea leave) that we always use to
splash holy water to bless people or places good luck and
clear bad energies.
I guess Phudsa leaves sounds like Buddha and Bai Nhad has
very strong cool smell like mint but is very much stronger
so a long time ago when people went into the woods they
brought the leaves to keep insects and dangerous creatures
Back to our Som Poi, to make holy water it’s a must to have
dried Som Poi pods. Collecting the fresh old pods and then
sun dry them. Before making holy water we have to grill the
pods then soak them in clear water and it will give yellow
I still have a folk tale and a Buddhist parable about Som
Poi but let’s cook first. Next issue I will come back with
the stories. So, here are a few steps for coking our soup.
We will start by tying a bunch of young Som Poi leaves
together and boil them in hot water together with chili
paste (pounded garlic, shallot, fresh chili, turmeric and
Then add chopped fish, salt and maybe kaffir lime juice if
you it to be prefer sourer. Then add lemon basil leaves at
the end for an extra touch of sour.