Street food in Thailand has garnered the reputation for being some of the best and cheapest food around. There are a couple of simple tricks for finding a decent meal on the street. Choose vendors with freshly prepared food, and follow the crowds for sourcing where the locals eat.
While traveling through Thailand, there are a few street food dishes to look out for:
Somsong Pochana lies close to the Chaophraya River and gained recognition for this simple dish that originates in the Sukhothai region. The meal consists of thin rice noodles swimming in a pork broth slightly sweetened with palm sugar. Tamarind adds a touch of tartness.
Garlic, onions and sauces provide a bit of spice. Pork slices, fresh green beans and roasted peanuts accompany the noodles. The balance of flavors and textures make this traditional comfort food a true delight.
The Hualampong Station in Chongki is one of the best places to find this treat. This robust snack begins with chunks of pork or pork liver skewered on bamboo sticks and marinated in coconut cream. Vendors then grill the meat over a smoke rendering barbecue.
A savory peanut dipping sauce accompanies each serving that offers the perfect blend of salty, sour, spicy and sweet.
Visitors find the best Hoy Tod just off Bankok’s Charoen Krung main street. The oriental version of an omelet features a filling of mussels and oysters. Some enjoy the dish cooked on the griddle until crispy and others prefer a softer, tender version.
Nam Kaeng Sai
Venture to the Suan Luang market behind the Chulalongkorn University for this refreshing local treat that represents a healthier version of the snow cone.
Vendors offer a smorgasbord of toppings and guests merely choose and point. Common ingredients include candied cassava, candied taro and crunchy water chestnuts along with jackfruit and beans over shaved ice. A delightfully sweet and salty coconut cream sauce and brightly colored syrup grace the top of the dessert.
The Suan Luang market also serves as the hotspot for finding the Thai version of the breakfast food known as congee or rice porridge. Vendors have a large pot of simmering sticky rice and another pot filed with pork bone soup. In a bowl, the rice combines with perfectly seasoned pork meatballs along with an egg and crispy fried dough.
Vendors at Thip Samai make this well-known fried noodle recipe. In a hot wok, they fry noodles with bean curd, garlic and shrimp. Vendors next add palm sugar and tamarind juice along with chilies and the fish sauce called nam plaa. Banana blossoms, bean sprouts and coriander leaves provide the finishing touches.
Phad Kee Mao
Find this noodle dish at Jay Fai, which consists of thickly sliced chilis and onions in a smoke-flavored gravy accompanied by shrimp and noodles.
This spicy salad originates in the northeastern region of the country. However, merely journey to Hai Somtam for the dish. Creating the salad requires pounding grated papaya with garlic and adding chilies, fish sauce, a hint of lime juice and small tomatoes. Diners may also include fresh water crab as an ingredient.
Locals eat the salad along with baskets of sticky rice.
If cheap tours of the local food delights is what you are looking for, then you won’t be disappointed with the street foods of Thailand.
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Candice writes for TravAddict.com, and is an expert in budget travel.