Take a Street Food Tour of Thailand Without Leaving Bangkok
Bucket List Worthy Travel and Eats
Thailand is a Southeast Asian country known for its friendly people, other-worldly temples, sugar sand beaches and, most notably, its food. Thai food can be sampled at restaurants around the world, from the far reaches of Canada to South Africa and nearly everywhere in between. Many Aussies have tasted award-winning Thai fare in Sydney’s Thai Pothong Restaurant or Melbourne’s famous Chin Chin.
However, nothing compares to eating Thai food made by those who know it best — the local Thai people. And there’s no better place to wander, sampling local Thai dishes and snacks served up on street corners, than in the capital city of Bangkok. Whether you’re taking a quick trip to the city or will be using Bangkok as your hub for exploring the “Land of Smiles,” these are four street food dishes you must try to get a true taste of Thailand.
Mu Ping (Grilled Pork Skewers)
Grilled pork skewers may sound like something you cook at home on the barbie, but you’ll quickly realise Thai pork skewers taste much different than Aussie ones. Once you know how to spot the skewers, known locally as mu ping, you’ll see them sold on nearly every block. The pork is marinated in a mixture of garlic, cilantro roots, peppercorn and several other local ingredients before being threaded onto the skewer and cooked before your eyes. Request them spicy for a little extra kick, and always be careful when trying the chili sauce that often comes alongside (it can be “Thai hot.”)
Pla Pao (Grilled Fish)
If you’ve ever traveled to Thailand’s beaches, you know fishing boats are abundant. Much of that fresh fish makes its way to streets of Bangkok, where grilled fish is a streetside specialty. The fish, typically catfish, tilapia and snakehead, are often stuffed with lemongrass and other herbs, then dunked in rock salt and flour before being barbecued to perfection. Avoid the skin and dip the meat in the chili sauces provided.
Som Tam (Papaya Salad)
Thai people always appear to be snacking, and who can blame them with so many food options on every street corner. One way to snack without stuffing yourself full is with Thailand’s famously fresh and delicious papaya salad. The combination of unripe green papaya slices, tomatoes, garlic, fish sauce, palm sugar, peanuts, shrimp and chili powder creates a uniquely sweet, salty and spicy taste that properly represents Thailand’s diverse flavours.
Khao Soy (Curried Egg Noodles)
You’ll find curries on most authentic Thai menus, but nothing is quite like trying a curry cooked in the heart of the hustle and bustle of Bangkok’s streets. Khao soy is a dish of curried egg noodles that’s most commonly found in Northern Thailand, but we’re thankful the flavours have made it farther south. Enjoy this dish of flat egg noodles and veggies submerged in a coconut curry broth with raw shallots and a squeeze of lime.
You’ll never go hungry in Bangkok.