01.05.2016 - 01.05.2016 44 °C
Travelling is not just about getting to know the place that one travels to through sightseeing, culture experience, enjoying the nature wonders, meeting locals and get to know more informations about locals through the natives but travelling also leads one into tasting the local food available in that particular country. And perhaps this is one of the good experience one can have while on the road being from one place to another specifically in country such as Thailand. Thailand is a country that needs no detailed orientation on where you should go for some of the best available authentic treats of food, drinks, sweets and desserts. You can find it almost every corners of the road, streets, back lanes, shops and buildings. Whenever or where ever you are on the go, chances are you will be able to see food being dished out whether its through the kiosks, pushcarts, food trucks or simply just a man or woman walking on the streets selling food or beverages. To summarised this, you do not need to struggle to find for authentic Thai food or you would not be starved hungry when travel to Thailand because food is just easily available. What is even much better than the bountiful of food availability while in Thailand, you can also have it your way whether its the budget and inexpensive Thai street food or the mid range price of food court style Thai food or the premium price of restaurant type of Thai food. The choice is yours and which ever type or style of food you prefer to eat, ultimately it is the taste and authenticity of the food that should count most in concluding a decision. As for me, I started to love street food as I travelled more frequently and extensively to this Kingdom of Unseen, where not only because they were reasonable in price but the quality, quantity and taste were of something that caught my attention to such style of food when in Thailand. Of course the food court style of Thai food as well as the restaurant joints also offer similar taste but the price will still be utmost important in choosing between a budget treats or premium treats. If you are someone who gives priority to backpacking style of travel, well, street food is the answer to the more thrifty style of travel, which suits me but surely, there will also be time when one also wanted to indulge in luxury travel. So, once in a while a premium style of eating is also not too much to ask for depending on one's budget and preference. Just the same as when it comes to food where though I prefer street food whenever I travel, I will also try to get involved in some premium style dining, not too premium though to the extend of breaking the pockets.
Some of the best available Thai food that I have tried and to share it here were mostly available on street shops or food kiosks, while some can also be found in food courts in the shopping malls. They were reasonably priced below THB 100 and will keep your stomach full for the entire period until the next meal. These Thai food being described as best by me because I have tasted them but let me qualified myself on the word "best" because different individual have different level of taste. This means it may be best to me but it may or may not when you tucked into these food. To me, they were best because the taste were good, the portion were just nice, some of them can be healthy and nutritious and they were prepared simple. Some of the Thai food has strong influence of the Chinese style of cooking and taste due to the Chinese immigrants who settled in Thailand which resulted in such clash of food style. There were also some Thai food which being influenced by the Vietnamese style of cooking especially those in the Isaan region or North East province in particular Ubon Ratchathani, which I have shared before. Also, it should be noted that due to the different regions in Thailand that neighbouring few other South East Asia nations such as Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, China and Malaysia, the taste, style and ingredients of the North, North East, Central and South of Thailand all offers its own distinctive food. Here are some of the Thai food that I tasted while travelled to Bangkok recently.
Khao Man Gai (Chicken Rice)
Chicken rice indeed was not distinctively being a Thai food but you can basically see this almost everywhere in the streets in Thailand. This is one of the most available street food in Kingdom of Thailand that is easy to eat, healthy and most of all it taste so delicious. The Thai chicken rice is actually the Hainanese style of cooking which only offers steamed chicken and the rice, which were being specially cooked with the chicken broth extracted while preparing the steamed chicken. You can see everywhere on the street where chicken rice vendors are available, the shops have the standard see-through glass display rack with the whole steamed chicken, usually 2 to 3 of them being hang on the rack with pieces of chicken meat that has been chopped placed on the base of the display rack. Hainanese chicken rice is the only type of chicken rice seen or available in Thailand as far as I was concerned. In neighbouring country such as Malaysia or Singapore, you would see different style of localised chicken rice which comes with roast pork, BBQ or char-grilled pork, roast chicken, steamed chicken and roast duck. The Hainanese chicken rice is the most simple type of chicken rice that keeps one full with portion of aromatic rice, sliced steamed chicken meat topped on the rice with some cut cucumbers on the side served on one plate that also comes with a small bowl of hot soup. You can also have fried chicken to paired it with the steam chicken or just with either one of the variety. Thai Hainanese chicken rice is also best eaten with the "nam phrik" or chilli sauce prepared from various ingredients specifically to match the chicken rice.
Khao Kluk Gapi (Shrimp paste rice)
This is yet another simple one platter Thai rice meal which not only is tasty and delicious but also very spicy, flavourful and colourful. Yes, you read that right, colourful. Why khao kluk gapi is colourful? Well, you can see from the dish presentation itself where there were selective few colours churned out from it which came from the sliced egg omelette (yellow), dried chillies (red), chopped long beans, coriander, thinly sliced unripe mango and chopped cucumbers (green) and stewed pork meat (brown). The rice is prepared from steamed brown rice and either being mixed with the shrimp paste (kluk in Thai) or can also be then stir fried with the shrimp paste. It is not easy to find this special dish on the streets as its quite rare being sold by street food vendors. But you can find khao kluk gapi mostly in the malls' food courts or Thai food restaurants in shopping malls in Thailand. This is yet another of my favourite Thai food which to me offers healthy alternative, taste good and simple all in one kind of food.
Khao Moo Daeng (Rice with char-grilled pork)
The 3rd kind of rice dish which offer another flavourful and good Thai food experience all in one plate. Khao moo daeng is not specifically steamed rice served with just char-grilled pork but it also adds into it other side dishes which include the Chinese pork sausages and roast pork topped it on the rice where all the add-ons were then being sprinkled with the thick sweet caramel sauce. The sauce plays the most important role as a whole in creating the ultimate great taste to this rice dish. The char-grilled pork and the roast pork come in a hearty portion enough to get you full without finishing the rice which may be way too much to finish them off.
Khao pad graphao gai khai dao (Rice with stir-fry basil minced chicken & deep fry egg)
Another Thai rice dish which is very popular among Thais and travellers which is also very widely available on the streets as well as anywhere you know of in Thailand. This dish basically needs no introduction for those who had been to Thailand on frequent basis because this is kind of Thai national dish which offer good taste, comfort eating and easy on the money pocket. Pad graphao gai khai dao is steamed rice served with stir fried chicken cooked with basil leaves and chillies and add-on with deep fried egg.
Radna noodle is literally a Chinese style of noodle dish which comes in the form of a choice of thick wide rice noodles or "saen yai" in Thai or crispy thin noodles "saen lek" in Thai which were being deep fried and compressed into round shape. The noodles are being stir fried which thereafter being topped with the thick gravy. The gravy is what makes radna noodle tasty. Radna noodles also comes with it the kana vegetable and thick wide pork meat. You can also have the egg omelet to add-on into the dish. This radna noodle that I had was with the thin noodles and you can see the generous portion of the pork meat and the kana vegetable, which yet brings you another healthy, comforting and delicious Thai food.
Pad see ew (Dark soy sauce stir fried noodles)
This noodle dish usually comes together with radna noodles. The noodles used in preparing pad see ew is the thick wide rice noodles which is being stir fried with dark sweet soy sauce together with pork meat, eggs and kana vegetable which finally touched up with the pepper or "prik thai". This is another one of the Thai noodle treats that I enjoy eating and taste simply good.
Bami Haeng Moo Daeng (Dry noodles with char-grilled pork)
This is yet another popular noodle dish and widely available street food in Thailand. Bami haeng moo daeng translated literally as dry noodles with red pork meat which more accurately described as char-grilled pork or "char siew" in Chinese. Again, this is actually more of a Hong Kong style wanton noodles which consists of egg noodles with other add-ons which is no other than the char-grilled pork as well as fish balls or pork balls, fish cake or wanton (deep fried or steamed). It also come with hearty portion of bean sprouts and best eaten with Thai chilli flakes for those who like spicy taste.
Moo Ping Khao Neaw ( Sticky rice with grilled pork)
Moo Ping Khao Neaw or sticky rice with grilled pork is another popular food and is a form of breakfast food for the Thais. Usually found on the morning markets and on walkways street vendors during the rush hour period, its kind of a Thai fast food where office or factory workers rushing to their workplace would easily grab this skewers which is not only inexpensive but filling and deliciously addictive. The size of the grilled pork which is marinated with special sauce which comes sweet in taste come in various variety with some just need 2 skewers to make you full while some need at least about 3 to 4 skewers. Its pretty much convenient to eat and would be accompanied by the khao neaw or sticky rice that made them a perfect match altogether.
Thai Suki (Thai Hot pot)
This is not truly a Thai food but Thai hot pot has gained much popularity, not only it is healthy but also because it provides whole lot of varieties in one pot, which the traditional ones were made from clay. Today, hot pot is known as steamboat in some countries. The traditional hot pot comes with a clay made pot being placed on top of a clay stove stuff with charcoals. The soup base will first be boiled in the hot pot and as it boils over time, the raw suki dishes which include mostly green leafy vegetables, meat, seafood such as prawn, eggs, tofu and bean curds are being thrown into to pot to be cooked. Thai suki is best eaten with suki sauce which comes in a form of chilly sauce form but lighter in colour usually in orange. Thai suki is usually eaten in an outdoor environment but there are few establishments that offer such food in the comfort of air-conditioned restaurants in shopping malls.
Nem neung (Isaan char grilled pork salad)
Nem neung as I had shared before is a hybrid food that was created in the Isaan region through the evolution of the Vietnamese thit nuong. This char grilled pork in the form of skewers can be found on the streets of Hanoi in Vietnam and widely popular and best to be eaten with Vietnamese rice noodle, which known as bun thit nuong, a form of Vietnamese salad that comes with thin rice noodles, char grilled pork, variety of vegetables and coriander mixed with a special sweet sauce all in a bowl. In nem neung, this char grilled pork is wrapped into the fresh lettuce roll together with variety of cut chillies, sliced mangoes, sliced star fruits, cut garlics, topped with a sweet thick sauce and then wrapped under rice roll. It is also another kind of healthy Thai food packed with whole lot of nutrition.
Cha Yen (Thai Iced Milk Tea)
I can never resist a cup of cold Thai iced milk tea whenever in Thailand. It can never be better to have a cup of iced packed cha yen served by the coffee vendors on the streets in Thailand on the scorching hot weather any time of the day. The best milk tea can be found any where on the streets. Not only the taste of Thai milk tea was aromatic but it is also refreshing and superb.
Thai Ice Cream
The original Thai ice cream is made from coconut milk and you can see that the ice cream base is white in colour. What made Thai coconut ice cream so distinctive was that it adds on with it with variety of toppings such as ginkgo, corns, taro, preserved and natural fruits, crushed roasted peanuts, sticky rice and many more.