You can please your palate 24 hours a day just strolling along the pavements of practically every street in Thailand. The variety of al types of things to eat from the very familiar to the exotic offered by the food stalls and street vendors will surprise you.
Astonishing, yet fascinating, anybody, with a hearty appetite can have a virtual feast at every turn, all at minimal cost. The food enterprise is practical; the vehicle can be a mobile “rot khen” or merely two baskets on the end of a bamboo pole that can be carried around, or “haab reh.” A “shop” is hastily set up and remains stationary, while stools are brought in. Starting from appetizers, you may choose “look chin” or meatballs and other similar things fried or grilled on sticks, such as beef, chicken and pork. These typical BBQ’s cost a few bath with “nam chim” or sauce made from chilies and sugar. “Thod man kung” is included in this variety, made from parwn paste mixed with fresh coriander and then fried; the taste is finished by a dipping in sweet spicy sauce.
For those with a preference for Chinese food, the dumplings call “kui chai” (chive-like Chinese vegetable from where it got its name), these dumplings were later adapted to Thai taste with various fillings like prawn, bamboo shoot and taro. The typical E-sarn cuisine (from the northeast) is becoming popular around town. One which will be remembered most is “sai krok E-sarn” or northeastern sausage. With a mixture of minced pork, sticky rice, garlic and other spices stuffed into pig’s intestines and mixed with fresh vegetables, these are not to be missed. For your main course, “kuay tiew” is a delectable feast food for all locals. Many styles of noodles can be chosen from “Bamee nam” – a standard dish of yellow wheat noodles in stock with roast red pork and chopped chives thrown into noodles served dry or with soup and meatballs.
The bon vivant should try Thai style spicy dishes. “Khanom jeen” is one such exotic sample. The essentials of the dish are a generous helping of rice noodles with a mild curry sauce containing fish-paste balls. The dish is more appetizing eaten with fresh vegetables. Trade is always brisk at these stalls, characterized by great steaming vats of sauce and adjacent tables laden with bowls of vegetables. End tour meal with some sweets. Most farangs love to try “Khanom Thang Taek” – Thai style waffle filled with grated coconut, sugar and sesame.
Thang Taek is a slang expression meaning “skint’ but for this sweet, “aroy” (delicious) might be a better term. Cheap and filling, “Khao niao ping” is most often seen on the haab reh. The combination of sticky rice and coconut milk, stuffed with banana or taro, is wrapped in banana leaf and grilled. Wash it down with a choice of a myriad of juices-all for just a few baht.