Everyone knows that Bangkok is one of the world’s most popular shopping destinations, but the beautiful capital of Thailand isn’t only great for its wonderful shopping experience and crazy bargains – food is also amazing! Thai food needs no introduction and its abundance of exotic flavours make it among the most celebrated of international cuisines.
Your travel experience in Bangkok will never be complete without trying local Thai favourites and the streets are the best places to begin! Whether it is a hawker, vendor, food cart or food truck, you’ll notice a vast array of street foods available everywhere you step foot, so you might as well thrill your taste buds. Here are 15 different kinds of popular street food we’ve stumbled upon in Bangkok, so make sure you check all these items off!
1. Hoy tod – Although it isn’t quite similar to the ones you can find at George Town, Penang, the Thai style oyster omelette is also as delightful. Crispy, gooey, mushy and flavourful, the starchy batter, egg, seafood, bean sprouts and green onion come together to form omelette ecstasy. Eat it with sweet chilli sauce for that extra kick!
2. Khao ka moo – This is a dish that would taste familiar to most Chinese families. Pork is broiled for hours with ingredients such as soy sauce, cinnamon, star anise and more, then, it is served on top of steamed rice. The pork is usually fatty, soft, tender and almost melts in your mouth.
3. Nam kang sai – This is the Thai version of Malaysian ice kacang and it is just as refreshing. The shaved ice is served with multi-coloured jelly, crunchy water chestnuts, ginkgo and strings of dough, topped off with salty and sweet coconut cream. Perfect as dessert or as a treat on a hot day!
4. Guay teow rhua – Also known as boat noodles, the rice noodles are accompanied by a flavourful and rich pig blood-infused broth, pork slices, pork balls, morning glory and pork liver. Boat noodles usually come in pretty small servings, so you may want to order more than one bowl if you have a big appetite.
5. Kao niew ma muang – Ahh, mango sticky rice – decadent, savoury, sweet and absolutely fulfilling. This traditional Thai dessert consists of sweet mangoes and sticky rice, topped off with salty and sweet coconut milk as well as dried mung beans. Mango sticky rice is also served at most Thai restaurants here in Malaysia, but they taste so different!
6. Moo ping – If you visit Bangkok, grilled pork skewers are an absolute must-have. These pork skewers are available everywhere and before they are grilled over hot coal, the meat is marinated with a mixture of fish sauce, palm sugar, cilantro, coconut milk as well as other ingredients.
7. Guay teow lui suan – These spring rolls are similar to the popiah, except, the ingredients are wrapped in a large square-shaped rice noodle. The filling for the spring roll includes ground pork, lettuce and carrots. The spring rolls are then eaten with lettuce leaves, basil and a dipping sauce.
8. Guay jab – Again, this is another dish would taste familiar to most Chinese families. This intense black pepper soup is served with pork and its innards, as well as green onions and rice noodles. Guay jab is the perfect meal on a cold rainy day, but be warned, as not many stomachs can handle the overpowering taste of black pepper.
9. Pad kra prao – Simple, affordable and just as satisfying, pad kra pra is a rice dish served with minced pork seasoned with basil and chilli, topped off with a fried egg. The taste of basil is very strong in this dish, so if you don’t like the herb, you may want to skip it.
10. Pad thai – Enjoy Thai food? You’ve probably had pad thai and love it. The rice noodles are fried with tofu, shrimp, bean sprouts, fish sauce, green onion and lime juice, usually served with a fried egg. To make your noodles more yummy, add more ground peanuts and more lime juice!
11. Plah plow – On the streets of Bangkok, you’ll probably stumble upon plah plow, which is grilled fish that’s stuffed with ingredients for flavour and then covered in a thick coat of salt before being popped on the grill over charcoal. The fish is soft, sweet and juicy.
12. Som tam – We’re pretty sure you’ve had som tam at Thai restaurants here locally. This spicy papaya salad makes an excellent appetizer because of its spicy, sour and salty flavours. You can find green papaya, peanuts, dried shrimp, tomatoes, lime juice and string beans in this dish.
13. Gai yang – Just like grilled pork skewers, grilled chicken is everywhere and you’d be sure to smell it from afar. The ones grilled on mobile stands attached on pushcarts or bikes are usually the best.
14. Aa haan ta lay – Seafood is super cheap in Bangkok! From fish, prawns, squid, clams, crabs, cockles and oysters, you can request for your seafood of choice to be cooked in various cooking styles or just have them steamed to maintain the natural flavours. If you want an excellent seafood meal, Chinatown would be your best bet!
15. Nam tok moo – This pork salad consists of juicy pork, lemon juice, green onions, fish sauce, chilli and mint. It usually is very flavourful, with a kick of sourness and spiciness that seems to escalate the more you eat. Yum!