Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Thai Street Food, Bangkok

Anyone who has visited Thailand will know that Thai street food can be exciting, colourful, interesting and wonderful, as well as downright dodgy for those without an iron stomach. 

Food hawkers move around by simply pushing their four wheeled food carts from place to place on foot.

They come alive when the sun goes down with many locals getting their evening feed.  Having eaten at many stalls over the years, I can attest that some are better than others.  And I always stay away from the ones that are on a busy main street.  With all the pollution, especially in Bangkok, I'm not fond of having it in my food if you catch my drift. 

Still, it doesn't hurt to have a look and for those who are interested in food, there are some truly fascinating things on offer. 

Of course not everything will be to everyone's taste, so it is important to go with an open mind and a willing appetite for an encouraging start. Just beware if you don't have the constituency of a hardened traveller's stomach.

Since Thai street food is very inexpensive for Westerners, with prices starting at 15 Baht upwards, it is possible to get a very good feed without spending a fortune.  The beauty is in being able to try as many different things as possible. 

Below is a hawker selling deep fried potato and taro wedges (upper basket) and deep fried Thai bananas. 

Another hawker was selling deep fried whole fish, prawns, chicken legs and barbequed sticks of kidneys and chicken (see images below).

Another hawker was deep frying ready made fresh spring rolls to sell on the spot.  They looked deliciously golden and crunchy.  They are served with a little bag of sweet chilli sauce and fresh basil leaves.

Fresh curries, vegetables and stir fries.  Most of which you can see has already gone.  It was past lunch time though...

Sticks of fish balls, pork balls and sausages.  Asian fast food delights...

Thais love their sweet desserts.  Here are tapioca water chestnut balls, sweetcorn, tapioca pearls and a huge bowl of sweet coconut milk at the front, a big bag of crushed ice sits behind the table.  You choose what you want from the selection, it gets topped with a spoonful of crushed ice and sweet coconut milk on top.  Mix it up and it becomes a deliciously cool dessert - seriously!

Below are some roti style pancakes.  A typical breakfast treat is a roti style pancake with egg and sugar.  Rather sweet, but oh sooo good - definitely 'a minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips' sort of a treat... Once in a while, but not every week. 

A lady grilling Thai bananas over stone coals. 

Delicious golden deep fried sesame seed balls.  These are glutinous doughy balls made with rice flour and filled with sesame paste or red bean paste.  One of my favourite snacks, they are truly delicious, but again not good for one's waistline. 

And here are some sweet coconut sticky rice parcels - wrapped in banana leaf.   Shredded coconut on the side.  Sweet, sticky and good...

And finally, a hawker selling Thai style coffee.  It's sweet, made with condensed milk and served cold - just how the locals like it.

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