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What Street Food To Try In Bangkok
Street food is a massive part of travelling and is especially enjoyed in Southeast Asia, particularly Thailand – and ok let’s get even more specific, Bangkok. If there is a dish you discovered in another part of Thailand, or are yet to come across – but you have heard about, and would like to try, then you’re in luck. Whatever it is your stomach is craving, you’ll be sure to find it here.
With so much variety and so many local delicacies, it can be a hard decision to make. Do you go for the Pad Thai or the Papaya Salad? The roti (Thai pancakes) or the ice pan (stir fried ice cream – yes it’s a thing!)? I’ll talk you through a few of the good, the bad and the down right nasty dishes that I have had the pleasure of trying in Bangkok.
Ok, let’s get the obvious one out of the way. The reason this dish is so well known not only in Thailand, but around the world is because of its simplicity, whilst still packing a punch of flavours and kick of spice right where it’s needed.
Made up of rice, noodles, egg, tofu, vegetables and usually some chicken or shrimp thrown in, this popular dish can be found absolutely anywhere in Thailand.
Unfortunately I’m allergic to egg, so I don’t get to enjoy the dish to its full potential, but with so many people going for this as their dish of choice, it’s not hard to see why this makes the number one spot.
Shrimp Red Curry
This one is a personal favourite of mine, as I absolutely love seafood! Rice, basil, veg, curry sauce and chilli peppers compliment the fresh juicy shrimp perfectly! At 50 baht a pop, you can not go wrong with this one. In fact, I think I’ve just decided what to have for tea.
I did say the good, the bad and the down right nasty didn’t I? Can you guess which category this one falls into? Head to Khao San Road and you will find plenty of vendors offering up a variety of crickets, worms, beetles and grasshoppers. Usually fried in a small amount of sauce and then seasoned with a bit of Thai spice – these little critters are a favourite amongst tourists and backpackers.
In fact I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Thai person eating them. I’m beginning to think they serve them purely to laugh at foreigners! It’s not a favourite dish of mine, but if you want the true Thai experience, you’ve gotta go for it!
Scorpion or Tarantula
Another one that makes the list purely just to say you’ve tried it. Tasting a bit like pork scratching/crackles, these deep fried little suckers are usually found with a skewer through their bodies. I’ve only ever seen these on offer around tourist places, especially Khao San Road. Once again, I’m sure it’s just to give the locals something to laugh about.
Mango Sticky Rice
Mango sticky rice is another of Thailand’s famous dishes. It contains mango, and uh, sticky rice… usually mixed together with a bit of condensed milk. This dish is found all around Thailand, and is popular with both street vendors and restaurants. I’m quite happy to scoff this down as a main dish when I’m hungry, but I only realised it was supposed to be a dessert when I saw it on a dessert menu at a restaurant. Either way, it’s tasty, filling and you can pick it up for about 30 baht from the side of the road.
Chicken On A Stick
You’ll find all sorts of things on sticks in Thailand, half of which I have no idea what type of meat it is, if it is meat at all. One thing I do know though is that the chicken on a stick that you can buy, with a bit of chilli sauce, is a good thing all around. Wherever you see street vendors, it won’t be long before you see chicken on a stick. Priced at 10 baht a pop you can’t go wrong.
Tom Yum Goong
Thai people love to make everything spicy, and this dish is no exception. Tom Yum Goong is a spicy soup, made with a blend of herbs and spices and finished with some fresh juicy shrimp and mushroom. This dish will leave your eyes watering, so make sure you have a drink nearby.
More commonly found in Southern Thailand, but also makes a regular appearance around Bangkok, this spicy papaya salad packs a punch and makes for a pefect light dish in between proper meals. I’d recommend a couple of breath mints after this one though, as it’s packed with garlic, chilli and a few different spices. Be warned, this dish is made in various ways, some of which will take you by surprise.
Spicy Beef Salad
Quite a rare one to find amongst street sellers, this spicy beef salad is more commonly found in local restaurants. That being said, it’s not impossible to find a street vender cooking up this dish. This tongue-tingling salad is made using lime, coriander, spearmint, chilli, onion and strips of beef. I’m sure this dish was invented purely to be eaten with a nice cold beer.
Ice Pan (Stir Fried Ice Cream)
Just squeezing into the top 10 list here is Ice Pan, which is stir fried ice cream – a popular dish with tourists and backpackers purely because of how it’s made. The vendor mixes up milk and your choice of ingredient and pours it onto a steel grill which is so cold; it actually turns the milk into ice cream. The whole process takes a couple of minutes, and you can usually spot these vendors by the amount of people crowded around with their phones out recording them. It really good ice cream, but at 200 baht a go, I’d give this one a miss.