Mukdahan by night

Ban daa, a Vietnamese dish at Mukdahan's evening market Mukdahan is probably the least known and quietest of Thailand's large cities located along the Mekong. Despite this, it had one of the region's best night markets:

At Mukdahan's evening market

It was surprisingly large for such a small town, and despite being firmly rooted in rural northeastern Thailand, Vietnamese food was just about everywhere.

A couple stalls sold this previously unseen specialty:

Vietnamese stuffed pig legs, at Mukdahan's evening market.

Pig legs stuffed with a pork and mushroom mixture. Sliced into disks and served as an appetizer, it was deliciously rich and savoury, almost like a pate.

Another unique dish was ban daa, shown at the top of this post. The dish takes the steamed noodle I've mentioned previously, but mixes it with a beaten egg and slaps a crispy sesame-laden rice cracker on top:

Making khanom paak mor, Vietnamese-style steamed noodles, at Mukdahan's evening market

Bizarre, but actually truly wonderful--crunchy, hot and soft--it's a real texture experience. I've seen a similar dish elsewhere, but according to the vendor, the egg version is only available around Mukdahan.

Another stall sold naem nuang (Vietnamese: nem nướng):

Naem nueang, a Vietnamese dish for sale at Mukdahan's evening market

skewers of grilled pork that are eaten wrapped in tiny squares of rice paper along with sour fruits, copious herbs and a sweet sauce. Far less meaty than those sold in Bangkok, the pork was also freshly grilled and still had that wonderfully smoky flavour.

See the entire photoset here.