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When we started planning our time in Thailand, the only thing we heard about more than beautiful beaches was the food, specifically the street food: fruit smoothies, sliced fruits, sweets, noodles and, yes, insects!
We’re known to love street food, and after months in North America without it (no, food trucks and pizza slices don’t quite count), this almost mythical street food in Thailand was calling. As soon as we touched down in Bangkok, we set off to find some of the Thai delicacies that people were raving about.
Follow your nose
Seeing these two ladies pushing their carts in Bangkok’s traffic, we knew they were going to set up their stalls somewhere and decided to just follow them… if there are two, there must be more!
Glorious Tropical Fruits
So…what do we have here?
But these markets don’t just have snacks. Full noodle dishes are usually available for $1 or less, such as this Pad Si Ew (far left in the picture above), served with vegetables and sometimes egg. This is one of our favorite Thai dishes.
Neither of us can make ourselves eat these eggs above. These tiny little eggs are quail eggs. It’s hard to explain why we’ll eat chicken eggs but no other bird eggs, but even the 10 Baht ($0.30) price tag can’t get us to nibble on these popular bite-size eggs.
Much to our surprise, we discovered that sushi is a Thai street food favorite! While the quality of the sushi in the night markets is not always great, there are tons of varieties, including veggie ones like seaweed, avocado, tofu or egg.
Another popular snack is Mieng Kham, a little leaf parcel that combines Thailand’s four main flavors spicy, salty, sweet and sour. The leaf is filled with peanuts, honey, chili and lime (and shrimp fot the salty flavor in the non-veg version). Just these basic ingredients create a flavor explosion in your mouth! We came to love this snack in our cooking class in Koh Lanta, and we were always happy when we found Mieng Kham in the night markets.
Going Bananas for Sweets in the Streets!!
Let’s move on to sweets – my favorite part of a visit to a night market.
Thai people love their sweets, so there is a huge selection of foods to satisfy even my sweet tooth: cakes, crepes, fruit, rice pudding, pancakes. This list is really endless, especially if you like bananas, which are served up baked, fried, deep-fried, on a stick, inside a waffle, inside a pancake…
While Jess can usually be found munching on those potato chips on a stick, I am hunting down my absolute favorite Thai sweet – these delicious crepes, freshly made, piping hot with the toppings of your choice.
Sure, there are plenty of meaty street food options, but the fact is that Thailand has the best street food we’ve come across, with a much bigger selection than in Central America or Mexico, our other two favorite places in the world to hunt down the best street food!
Have you been to Thailand? What’s your favorite Thai street food?