Street Food and Food in Thailand
It’s only when I arrived in Bangkok that I realized I knew nothing about Street Food!
Street Food on Khao San Road, Bangkok
Street food has a real place in Thailand as people tend to eat in the streets and not cook at home. At all times of the day there are people eating out, although sometimes, they might take it away and reheat it in their microwave.
The image we have of street food in the West is usually more like comfort food, not the healthiest choice anyway! In Europe, it’s often a food truck selling pizza, hot dogs or crepes! Here, it’s everything and that’s what I really liked in Bangkok!
You can be walking in the streets for hours and once you’re feeling a little hungry, you’ll find a guy selling perfect chicken skewers in a satay sauce! They’ll cost you about 10B to 25B (which is like €0,25 to €0,60) and taste delicious!
After that you’re back strolling around and an hour later, when you feel hungry again, you’ll find a Phat Thai for 40 to 80 Baht (€1 to €2).... The way you eat here is totally different, forget your breakfast/lunch/dinner, as a tourist you eat around 6 times a day but in small portions all the time! So, don’t be afraid to eat in the street, check out what’s on offer, see if it looks clean enough, how the guy cooks and most of the time, if your guts tell you it’s good, just eat there!
Thai cuisine is amazing and to me it’s one of most subtle cuisines I’ve encountered so far. Influenced by the Chinese, the Indian, the Middle-East and the Portuguese gastronomies, Thai cuisine offers a perfect balance of the five flavours (sweet, sour, salty, spicy and bitter). I particularly love their use of spices & herbs, everything is done to achieve an harmony in the taste and it really works!
A few dishes that you definitely have to try....
Phat Thai or the classic! Stir-fried noodles with eggs, tofu flavoured with tamarind pulp, fish sauce, dried shrimp, red chili pepper, garlic or shallots, palm sugar. Usually topped with lime wedges and roasted peanuts. There are many other ingredients that can be added to it: shrimp, crab, squid, chicken, vegetables...
Another version of Phat Thai is the egg-wrapped one.
Papaya Salad known as “Som Tam”, the green papaya salad with roasted peanuts, beans & chilies. Various other toppings can be found from a place to another.
Khao Khluk Kapi not the most famous one abroad and you might have never heard of it but this is an explosion of flavours! Fried rice with shrimp paste mixed with an omelette, red onions, dried shrimps, sweet pork, thinly sliced sour green mango, chilies and green onions…
Below is the unmixed version, remember to mix everything before you dive in...
Tom Kha Kai is an amazing soup made of coconut milk, galangal (a root close to ginger, that tastes more peppery & very fragrant), kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, coriander, straw mushrooms with chicken, sometimes fish sauce and lime juice. The flavours here are stunning, perfectly balanced with the sweetness of the coconut and the powerful taste of the lemongrass and galangal! I am sure you’ll like it! Don't forget to order a portion of rice on the side.