Food Porn: Thai Edition

Since I have been in Thailand I have eaten…well…everything. Everything besides the trays full of bugs that they sell on the streets at night, that is. Too expensive, and anyways I’ve tried fried crickets before so I’m not about to shell out 80 baht to try one again. Or whatever they cost.

Anyway. The food here is amazing. Like, even more so than I could imagine! I do recall one time when I was younger declaring that I could (or would?) live off of Shrimp Pad Thai for the rest of my life. Well, I still completely hold true to this statement. The Pad Thai on the street, made fresh to order and topped with crushed peanuts and tiny dried prawns bringing in their wonderful crunch and briny taste? SO wonderful!

So, in honor of this wonderful country’s food, my favorite street foods, from awesome to totally awesome:

10. Fried gelatin…stuff…

The gelatin is cut up and thrown in a vat of oil before being fished out and covered with Thai chili sauce. This method of cooking things really does produce some awesome results...
The gelatin is cut up and thrown in a vat of oil before being fished out and covered with Thai chili sauce. This method of cooking things really does produce some awesome results…

Found in Chinatown, this stuff was some sort of scallion gelatin thing chopped up and fried. Anyone know what it is? Cause I have no idea. But it was drenched in sweet chili sauce, which turns everything it touches delicious. Very good! But I had to turn the rest of my serving over to Stephen cause it was a little too jelly-like.

9. Steamed pork buns

Mmmm you just can't go wrong with a nice steam bun.
Mmmm you just can’t go wrong with a nice steam bun.

Another one from Chinatown! Delicious, but partially so delicious because I had not had a steamed bun in a very long time. I still think the ones from San Francisco when I was younger win out over this one. Still totally worth the 10 baht, though.

8. Stir Fried Veggies w/ cashew nuts

I spy corn, carrots, greens, pork, and delicious stir fry sauce
I spy corn, carrots, greens, pork, and delicious stir fry sauce

I love veggies. As you can see, I was pretty hungry at this meal, enough so that I forgot to take a picture before devouring the large majority of the dish. Again, delicious! But very simple, I could make something similar. Not out of this world enough to warrant a top-5. Paired with a fresh mango smoothie, though? A great first meal of the day.

7. Fried fish

Looks gross, tastes delicious.
Looks gross, tastes delicious.

Oh MAN was this stuff good! Found in Chinatown, again. I know I know, it looks kind of weird. It’s freshly fried fish topped with (you guessed it) sweet chili sauce. Again, I think the sweet chili sauce may have been carrying it a bit, but it was nonetheless the stuff of dreams. They cut up a few pieces into a plastic bag, drench it in sauce and send you on your way.

6. Grilled Mushrooms (on a stick)

Delicious delicious mushrooms.
Delicious delicious mushrooms.
Mushrooms with bacon? Why yes, thank you.
Mushrooms with bacon? Why yes, thank you.

I love mushrooms. I LOVE mushrooms. Mushrooms are SO good. These were also wrapped in bacon. They were bacon wrapped grilled mushrooms, grilled to order on the street. I mean, it’s not even fair! I did, however, make the mistake of assuming the pepper at the bottom was not as spicy as it was. I ate the whole thing in one bite and thought I was going to die for a few minutes. That made the mushroom experience a little less than awesome. But still, they are grilled mushrooms, wrapped in bacon. Pretty legit.

5. Duck.

Super fancy for a street cart. Super delicious, too.
Super fancy for a street cart. Super delicious, too.
Homemade condiments for the duck.
Homemade condiments for the duck.

There’s this guy on the corner who has a stand where he cooks duck and then serves it up over rice with greens and sauce and this brine-soup that you wash it down with! Pretty amazing because it is duck and duck is awesome. And delicious. The rice wasn’t great, though, so he lost a few points for that. Overall a pretty delicious dinner, though.

4. Grilled Squid on a Stick

DSC_0727

The whole array of items on sticks to buy, freshly grilled!
The whole array of items on sticks to buy, freshly grilled!

Again, found in Chinatown. Again, served with chili sauce. But unlike the previous ones found in Chinatown and served with chili sauce this is squid! Uh, YUM! Really good squid, too. And freshly grilled, then plopped into the plastic bag, covered in sauce, and you are on your way. This is totally my new favorite way to eat squid.

3. Green Curry

Spicy spicy and amazing. Love curry.
Spicy spicy and amazing. Love curry.

Mmmm curry. Served over vermicelli noodles in a little hole in the wall restaurant. Lots of greens, and delicious sauce, and fresh noodles. ‘nuff said.

2. Tom Yum Soup (pork and noodles and spice!)

The first time I had the soup: from a little cart in the middle of the street, served in a bowl to go.
The first time I had the soup: from a little cart in the middle of the street, served in a bowl to go.
The second bowl, at a slightly more legit food stall, where they actually had real bowls and tables!
The second bowl, at a slightly more legit food stall, where they actually had real bowls and tables!

I. Love. Soup. They make this soup on the streets, which I think is so cool! Soup is not supposed to be a street food! In the middle of the street stand is a giant pot which holds the broth, and inside that pot is a slightly smaller pot filled with water where they cook the noodles. Two-for-one cooking. Very efficient. The other things in there are fish balls, pork, greens, and sprouts. I asked the guy on the street to put on the toppings for me, and he added a spoonful of sugar (?!), some chili flakes, a bit of chili brine and some soy sauce. This stuff tastes like heaven! If I hadn’t already promised to live off of Pad Thai for the rest of my life, I would totally consider living off of this instead.

1. Pad Thai

Pad Thai. 'Nuff said.
Pad Thai. ‘Nuff said.

This particular plate tasted like heaven. Literally. As Stephen pointed out, that could partially do with the fact that we were eating this one at 4am. I agree that that could be part of it, but only a very small part. They make each plate of Pad Thai fresh, adding in the veggies, an egg, and shrimp or pork or chicken (whichever you want). It is delicious. Then you can add all the lime and peanuts and chili flakes and mini dried prawns that you want! This particular plate I added ALL the peanuts and ALL the prawns. It was a great choice. I have dreams about the Pad Thai sometimes. And I have only been gone from Bangkok for a few days.

Goodnight, food carts.
Goodnight, food carts.
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3 thoughts on “Food Porn: Thai Edition”

  1. Jenna,
    What can i tell you about this and your other wonderful blogs. My problem is that I have to go change my shirt now, because my shirt-front is all wet from drooling at your food descriptions. Loving your notes and envious of your travels.
    Love,
    Peter

  2. Wow. I remember Bangkok street food like it was yesterday. And it was almost 40 years ago! The piles of little scotch bonnet peppers, chili powder and others. The grilled chicken pips on a stick. mmmm. Wherever I travel, I try look forward to the street food… Mutton in bread rolls along the road near Sochi. Grilled fish with flies circling around in Aceh. The thali dinner on palm leaves stitched together in Bangalore. And those noodles at that little place of Nathan Road in Hong Kong! Dreamt about them for years. But there was nothing like Bangkok. (Btw, I think Danny booked a flight over after you described the duck…)

  3. Yum. I think I’m probably a tad less adventurous than you, so the grilled mushrooms and pad thai appealed especially to me, but they all sounded and looked delicious. Am also enjoying the Proustian memories these dishes evoke for your dad, and hoping that at a least some of these are recreated in his kitchen next time I visit….

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