The line between street food and a sit-down meal is often very thin in Thailand. You’ll find plenty of stalls to grab a snack to take away, while other street food stalls set up simple plastic tables and chairs for meals.
Thailand’s food culture is lively, communal, and rewards those willing to take risks with new dishes. Look for these fantastic dishes as you roam the night markets and streets around the country.
Street food is an inseparable organ of Thailand and you will discover why:
Pad See You
Pad See You is like the meatball spaghetti of Thai cuisine : hearty, warm and comforting. This street food dish consists of large rice noodles sautéed in a dark soy sauce with chicken, pork or beef, as well as broccoli or Chinese cabbage. Tasty yet safe, it’s a great option for those who can’t stand the spicier Thai dishes but want to get away from pad Thai. Foodies who want a little extra heat can add dried chili flakes, vinegar, or both.
Kluay Tod is a sweet and addictive street food snack or dessert made of mini fried bananas . This Thai dessert is usually prepared with less ripe bananas, which lend themselves better to frying. Bananas are usually prepared in a batter made from desiccated coconut and sesame seeds . The result is a slightly crispy, golden exterior and a creamy, warm center. They are excellent freshly fried, or even after cooling to room temperature.
Pad Kra Pao
Pad Kra Pao consists of minced chicken sautéed with Thai basil and chillies, all served over white Thai rice . This dish is definitely the national dish of the Kingdom of Siam. If you ask a Thai which street food dish he prefers the most, he will surely answer you the Pad Kra Pao: The Thai basil has a very pronounced and peppery flavor, while the Thai peppers add a strong dose of spices. You can always take the heat down a notch by asking the vendor to make it “pet nit noi” (little spicy). This national dish also often includes chunks of beef and a Thai fried egg on top.
Som Tam Thai
Som Tam is one of the most popular street food in Thailand and comes in different forms. The base dish consists of grated green papaya , tomatoes, carrots, peanuts, dried green beans, sugar, garlic, fish sauce, lime juice and lots of chili peppers. The ingredients are mixed together using a mortar and pestle, which allows the flavors to blend beautifully. This popular dish tends to be quite spicy by default, so depending on your tolerance level, it’s often best to order it “mai pet” (not spicy). There are so many versions of this street food saladHow many inhabitants in Thailand!
One of the cheapest street food dishes you’ll see served at most food stalls is Kai Jeow, or a Thai omelet served over rice. Thai omelets are made a bit differently than their Western counterparts; the inside is chewy like a standard omelet , but the outside is golden and crispy. Kai Jeow is a dish is usually cooked with fish sauce and chili peppers, and topped with chili sauce. This street food omelet can be eaten at any time of the day, but many Westerners enjoy it for breakfast .
Fried chicken may not be a typical Thai dish, but it is extremely popular in Thailand. Kai Tod is usually prepared by marinating chicken wings or drumsticks in a mixture of spices and rice flour before deep frying. To add a bit more flavor, Thai chicken is often covered in Thai chili paste or served with a hot sauce . This dish is a classic Thai street food that you’ll see served everywhere, from night markets to train carriages, often accompanied by a bag of sticky rice .
It can be made with chicken or beef broth, as well as rice noodles or egg noodles . There are so many variations of this dish that, like many Thai dishes , it’s a little different wherever you taste it, but it’s still hot and flavorful. Most of the time, street vendors also add Thai dumplings or meatballs to the broth. This street food soup is topped with sugar, dried chillies, lime juice and fish sauce.
Poh Pia Tod
Thai spring rolls rarely cross culinary boundaries , but they are a tasty and reliable street food snack nonetheless. Street food vendors usually cut the long rolls into small street food bites , which are then placed in a plastic bag before being soaked in sweet chili sauce and served with a toothpick for easy street food eating. Poh Pia Tod can be filled in different ways, for example with meat, vegetables or rice vermicelli.