Exploring Bangkok’s Street Food – Part 1

This is Part 1 of a 2 parts series on Bangkok Street Food. Stay tuned for Part 2 coming soon.

Food stalls along the streets of Bangkok, Thailand’s busy capital, can be a little intimidating for travellers unfamiliar with Thai street cuisine. While stalls are increasingly offering a simple English menu to cater to tourists, many are still very much local. So we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common street foods you can find in Bangkok to help get started on sampling those mouth-watering dishes you spy along the way.

Sen (noodles)
TYM-Thailand-Sen-NoodlesDid you know there’s more than phat thai? When you come across a noodle stall, it’s important to remember that each dish is pretty much customizable. Choose your noodle, decide if you want it in soup or dry, and choose your meat and toppings. While you can usually resort to point and choose for the toppings, the noodles are not always on display. Here are the most common options:

  • Sen Yai: A wide flat noodle made from white rice flour
  • Sen Mii: Rice vermicelli that looks small and wiry
  • Sen Lek: A medium flat rice flour noodle (the same kind used in pad thai)
  • Bah Mii: an egg and wheat flour noodle (yellow in colour)
  • Woon Sen: a thin, wiry glass noodle, made from soya bean flour

Once you’ve chosen your noodles, you can decide if you’d like it naam (with soup) or haeng (dry). Next, choose your meat. You can add moo (pork), gai (chicken), or nuea (beef), as well as a host of toppings. Don’t worry about the legendary spiciness of Thai food. You can always ask them to make it mai pet (not spicy).

 

Sticky Rice Snacks
TYM-Thailand-Mango-Sticky-RiceLike most countries in the region, rice is a staple in Thailand, and the sticky rice version of this ubiquitous grain shows up in dessert and snacks. The clean, starchy sticky rice makes it a perfect complement to tart tropical fruits and sweet-savoury toppings.

  • Khao niao mamuang: (sticky rice with mango)
    This popular dessert is as simple as the name sounds – sticky rice mixed with creamy coconut milk served with ripe mangoes. Ideally, it should be called mango with sticky rice – the ripeness of the mango can make or break this simple snack. The sticky rice complements the tropical fruit, and is often paired with other sweet or half-sweet half-savoury toppings.
  • Khanom chan: (pandan-flavoured sticky rice)
    Frangrant and subtly sweet, this snack is made from multiple layers of pandan-flavoured sticky rice flour mixed with coconut milk. The traditional nine-layer Thai dessert frequently makes its appearance at auspicious ceremonies – nine connotes prosperity in Thai culture.

 

Further Reading:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_cuisine
http://www.bangkok.com/restaurants/street-food.htm
http://bk.asia-city.com/restaurants/article/bangkok-best-secret-street-food-stalls-shops
http://importfood.com/saochingcha_guide.html

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