It was love at first taste. Just a couple of hours in Thailand and I was fond of Thai food. I waited a couple of days more just to see if it wasn’t driven by early enthusiasm. I’m still in love, so here’s the post.
First contact was when I arrived in the city from the airport. Outside my hotel there was a small but crowded stand with such a tempting display of various ingredients. A lady was cooking on demand meals in a wok. Didn’t get the name of what I took but it was a stir fried mix of fish, chicken and pork. I had it sitting under a sudden rain shower. It made the first meeting even more romantic.
The next day I actually found out that literally street food here is everywhere, so different and so tempting. At any corner you will find someone with a wok or a small BBQ. Pork or chicken skewers are popular on smallest stands – I also tried a squid one. Fruit is delicious (mango, papaya, dragon fruit) and fried or roasted banana is a gorgeous snack. Bigger stalls have great meal option. On Khao san road (where all Western tourists go) pad thai is the most represented. It is made with a choice of different noodles, soy sprouts and scrambled eggs (+ chicken or shrimps as add ons). I didn’t like it when I had it in Europe, but this was very good.
What is really magic about Thai cusine is how balanced the flavours are. I read about it before coming, but feeling on your tongue is another story. Sweet and salty are often combined (pleasant surprise finding out dried mango was packed with a salty sugar), and sour and spicy are compensating each other, particularly in the soups I’ve tried so far (like tom yam). In general I never ended a meal (no matter how spicy or tasty) with that sensation of the taste sticking in your mouth for hours (like it often happens elsewhere in the world). And everything is so easily digestible.
Some of the highlights so far: khao pladuk pad phet tod korb (a crispy and spicy deep fried fish cat), kanom jeep (chinese cabbage and pork dumplings in sweet-sower sauce), sang ka ya fak thong (pumpkin filled with custard) and fried bananas.
Funny thing, when I meet with Thais so far we often go to eat Chinese or Japanese!
Ok, enough for now, it’s time to eat.
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This post is available also in Italian / questo post è disponibile anche in Italiano