Just as we do for any trip that we are taking, before we left for Thailand, we did a bunch of research on where to eat and what to eat. The hubs and I both come from a long line of “you don’t want to miss a good meal” type of people, and we are just doing our part to continue that tradition.
So, what did we eat in Bangkok? More like what didn’t we eat. Before we had left, we had read a ton of articles about how amazing the street food is, and so we were ready to sample and taste our way through the streets of Bangkok. There were a few Bangkok-specific dishes that we knew we didn’t want to miss, but aside from those, we just wanted to eat whatever delicious foods the locals were eating.
Thai Iced Coffee and Thai Iced Tea:
thai tea at the chatuchak weekend market
A delicious, albeit slightly startling mix of sugar, thickly steeped coffee or tea and sweetened condensed milk. Quickly mixed together, poured over ice and topped with…well, more sweetened condensed milk of course. Maybe not the most health-conscious drink to get your morning started, but hey, you’re in Thailand!
After years of drinking decaf only, this was a bit of a shock to my system, but these drinks are seriously good. Addictive, I dare say. The hubs and I did our fair share of enjoying these iced babies, but you can rest easy, because we have resumed our life of decaf. (Although I would be hard-pressed to pass up a Thai Iced Tea if someone offered one to me.)
We saw fried chicken everywhere! At first, we were like, fried chicken in Thailand? No way! We felt like it was some sort of disgrace to the culture to eat fried chicken instead of noodles. Au contraire, the Thai love their fried chicken, and for good reason. It’s crisspity, it’s crunchity, and it’s fried for eating hot and juicy every time. Eating fried chicken in Thailand will make you realize what fried chicken is supposed to taste like.
boat noodle soup at the floating markets of damnoen saduak
Breakfast? Lunch? Dinner? Noodle soup is truly an anytizer, and you will see people enjoying this dish at any time of the day. Although we only mostly ate it for lunch, it is really really good. Homemade broth, homemade noodles, your choice of meat or seafood and veggies, how could this not be delicious? Are you starting to see a trend here…everything in Thailand was so delicious.
Any way you like ’em, noodles are your best friend in Thailand. Noodles were definitely what the hubs and I were craving leading up to our trip, ate almost everyday of our trip, and absolutely loved every bite of. The noodles in Thailand are almost always fresh (not dried) and cooked to order, pretty much any way imaginable. Oh, and they will only set you back about $1 USD.
Things on Sticks:
roasted bananas with coconut sugar
crispy pork belly
I’m not sure what it is about foods on sticks in Thailand, but I am pretty sure that everyday we ate something that was on a stick or served with sticks. Whether it was fruit or something fried, dumplings or a dessert, we used a lot of sticks in Thailand (and this was aside from chopsticks).
In general, Thai people take a lot of pride in everything that they do, including food preparation and presentation. My thinking is that they cut up an adorable tiny pineapple, but they want to make it even cuter, so they pop it on a stick. I mean, can you get any cuter than a tiny pineapple that has a design cut into it, sitting atop a stick? I think not.
Okay, okay, so these aren’t really empanadas, but that is what I can best compare them to. We had them by many different names in Thailand, but of all the “empanadas” that we ate in Thailand, Mrs. Phu’s were the best by far. And everyone knows it.
They make the dough by hand, quickly stuff them and fry them fresh. And by the time they are ready to be sold, there is suddenly a group of people ready to buy them. A savory dough with a variety of fillings, I am pretty sure that my husband could have survived on Mrs. Phu’s puffs alone.
Somsak Boo Op:
The pièce de résistence, and our hands-down winner for best food in Bangkok, and possibly best food in all of Thailand. (But make sure you get this dish in Bangkok, because it is specific to that region.)
A single pot cooked with a mix of spices, onions, fresh glass noodles, fresh prawns and secret sauces. It is the best thing you have ever tasted.
You get your pot of Somsak Boo Op (yes, make sure you order your own) and you smush (technical term) the noodles down into the bottom of the pan, where the most delicious sauce crust has been formed. You barely let the sauce coat the noodles, and you dig in. Oh, and the shrimp? Aside from being huge, sweet, fresh shrimp that you will love, make sure you lick the shells, because they also get coated in the irresistible sauce. (I promise you will thank me for these eating instructions post Somsak Boo Op.)
But where do you find this most perfect presentation of Somsak Boo Op, and probably the best dish that you will have in all of Thailand? At Somsak Boo Op of course. (Seriously.) (This food stall is named for the dish.) At Somsak Boo Op, the famed chef only cooks 4 plates at a time, and you will wait as long as it will possibly take to get your very own plate. And believe me, it is worth every minute.