Tom Yum Goong (Spicy Shrimp Soup)
At its best when the meat is stunningly tender, it could be likened to a beautiful woman: it's mild, sweet and delicately fragrant. And like all true love affairs, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Dropped in a searing hot wok, fistfuls of small, thin or wide noodles you choose do a steamy minute-long dance alongside crunchy beansprouts, onion and egg, before disembarking for the nearest plate. A truly interactive eating experience, half its fun and flavour lies in then using a quartet of accompanying condiments - fish sauce, sugar, chilli powder and finely ground peanuts - to wake it from its slumbers.
Fried rice, egg, onion, a few herbs - nothing more, nothing less. A popular lunch dish served typically with a wedge of lime and slices of cucumber, the secret of this unpretentious dish lies in its simplicity. The concept is this: you're the one devouring it, so you dress it. To do so, Thais use everything from prawns, crab or chicken to basil, chili and left-over vegetables, in the process turning an unremarkable pauper into a gastronomic prince!
It is made in a piping hot wok with lots of holy basil leaves, large fresh chilli, pork, green beans, soy sauce and a little sugar.
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The minced, fatty pork is oily and mixes with the steamed white rice for a lovely fulfilling meal. It is often topped with a fried egg kai dao you will most likely be asked if you would like an egg with it. Morsels of fresh chicken. Cherry-sized eggplants. Tender bamboo shoots. Sprigs of Coriander. Generous handfuls of sweet basil.
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These humble elements form the body of this seminal curry. But how does it get so gloriously green you ask? Oh, that'll be the spoons of green curry paste that's stirred furiously into hot creamy coconut milk. If there was such a thing as a 'Salad Hall of Fame', Thailand's zesty own breed, or 'yam' as they are known here, would surely take pride of place. Experience the fresh, fiery thrill of yam nua - with its sprightly mix of onion, coriander, spearmint, lime, dried chili and tender strips of beef - and you won't be.
It perfectly embodies the invigorating in-the-mouth-thrill of all Thai salads, the yummy-ness of yam. Pardon the pun, but tourists go nuts for this stir fried dish. Perhaps it's the wildly contrasting textures of a dish that saut's chicken alongside roasted cashews, sweet soy sauce, onions, chilies, pepper, carrot and mushrooms.
Perhaps it's the sweetening dash of honey that appeals. Do you really care? The important thing is that this dish works: it's simple but scrumptious, a little bit tame and yet still totally Thai. Duration 3h 30m Free cancellation. USD 53 per adult. Duration 4h Free cancellation.
USD 68 per adult. USD 66 per adult.
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When it comes to dining in Bangkok, the question is not what, where, or even when to eat. Street food vendors are convenient, delicious and cheap alternative to restaurants. Most visitors leave Thailand with the fondest of memories, the sort of memories that bring you back time and time again.
We try to provide free information that is as up-to-date and accurate as possible. However, if you are planning to travel it's a good idea to double check specific dates and information to avoid surprises.
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Street Food in Thailand: 11 Best Dishes and Where to Find Them
Thais also eat noodles, whether fried or in soup, with great gusto in the morning, or as a substantial snack at any time of the day or night. Pork is undoubtedly the preferred protein, with chicken in second place. Thais are prodigious consumers of fruit. Vendors push glass-and-wood carts filled with a rainbow of fresh sliced papaya, pineapple, watermelon and mango, and a more muted palette of salt-pickled or candied seasonal fruits.
These are usually served in a small plastic bag with a thin bamboo stick to use as an eating utensil.
2. Pad See Eiw (flat noodles)
Because many restaurants in Thailand are able to serve dishes at an only slightly higher price than they would cost to make at home, Thais dine out far more often than their Western counterparts. Dining with others is always preferred because it means everyone has a chance to sample several dishes. When forced to fly solo by circumstances — such as during lunch breaks at work — a single diner usually sticks to one-plate dishes such as fried rice or curry over rice.
Despite having evolved in a relatively small area, Thai cuisine is anything but a single entity and takes a slightly different form every time it crosses a provincial border. Fresh fish is grilled, added to soups, dried, or pickled and fermented for sauces and condiments. Two of the principal crops in the south are coconuts and cashews, both of which find their way into a variety of dishes. Chinese labourers and vendors introduced a huge variety of noodle and wok-fried dishes to central Thailand as many as years ago.
Immigrants from southern China have been influencing Thai cuisine for centuries, and it was most likely Chinese labourers and vendors who introduced the wok and several varieties of noodle dishes to Thailand. When Muslims first visited Thailand during the late 14th century, they brought with them a meat- and dried-spice-based cuisine from their homelands in India and the Middle East.
Nearly years later, the impact of this culinary commerce can still be felt in Bangkok. Taking the form of rice fried with ketchup, raisins and peas, sides of ham and deep-fried hot dogs, and topped with a fried egg, the dish is, well, every bit as revolting as it sounds. This culinary cross-pollination is only one example of the tendency of Thai cooks to pick and choose from the variety of cuisines at their disposal.
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Lime juice provides the tang, while the abundant use of chilli generates the heat. Most yam are served at room temperature, or just slightly warmed by any cooked ingredients. Being a tropical country, Thailand excels in the fruit department. A highlight of visiting Thailand is sampling the huge variety of indigenous fruits of which you've probably never heard. Many are available year-round nowadays, but April and May is peak season for several of the most beloved varieties, including durian, mangoes and mangosteen.
In Thailand, to eat is to eat rice, and for most of the country, a meal is not acceptable without this staple. Thailand maintains the world's fifth-largest amount of land dedicated to growing rice, an industry that employs more than half the country's arable land and a significant portion of its population. Have you consumed rice yet? There are many varieties of rice in Thailand and the country has been among the world leaders in rice exports since the s.
In Thailand, noodles are ubiquitous, cheap and tasty. But they're also extremely varied and somewhat complicated to order. So with this in mind, we've provided a crash course in Thai noodles. When ordering, it's generally necessary to specify which noodle you want. Thai noodle dishes are often served slightly underseasoned. These condiments offer three ways to make the soup hotter — hot and sour, hot and salty, and just plain hot — and one to make it sweet.
The typical eater will add a teaspoonful of each one of these to the noodle soup, except for the sugar, which in sweet-tooth Bangkok usually rates a full tablespoon. English-language Thai menus often have a section called 'Desserts', but Thai-style sweets are generally consumed as breakfast or as a sweet snack, not directly following a meal. Sweets also take two slightly different forms in Thailand.
Simply put, sweet, sour, salty and spicy are the parameters that define Thai food, and although many associate the cuisine with fiery heat, virtually every dish is an exercise in balancing these four tastes. This balance might be obtained by a squeeze of lime juice, a spoonful of sugar and a glug of fish sauce, or a tablespoon of fermented soybeans and a strategic splash of vinegar. Bitter also factors into many Thai dishes, and often comes from the addition of a vegetable or herb. Regardless of the source, the goal is the same: a favourable balance of four clear, vibrant flavours.
Westerners might scoff at the all-too-literal name of this condiment, but for much of Thai cooking, fish sauce is more than just another ingredient, it is the ingredient. Essentially the liquid extracted from salted fish, fish sauce is one of the most common seasonings in the Thai kitchen, and takes various guises depending on the region. In northeastern Thailand, discerning diners prefer a thick, pasty mash of fermented freshwater fish and sometimes rice. Elsewhere, where people have access to the sea, fish sauce takes the form of a thin, amber liquid extracted from salted anchovies — much like with olive oil, the first extraction is considered the finest.
In both cases the result has an admittedly pungent nose, but is generally salty, rather than fishy, in taste.