Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Street Food Part 4 - Thailand

Street food in Thailand is where it's at. It's fresh, great and cheap. What more can you ask. The best street food we had was in Northern Thailand, especially in the two Chiangs'. Rai and Mai. 
Chiang Rai's was at the nightly food market, where at least 50 odd stalls are set up selling everything from Grilled Fish to Tom Yam. Although we were kinda fed up with deep fried foods by this point, we still managed to eat a few fried chicken wings. The best was the whole grilled fish we managed to devour in moments, closely followed by some grilled cockles, they tasted exactly how we remembered them from Vietnam. The huge amounts of perfectly grilled pork on skewers that we dipped in a sweet chilli sauce were pretty good also.
The day of our arrival in Chiang Mai blew us away. We turned up to witness the Sunday Night Street Market. This weekly street market has to be one of the best street markets I have seen in a long long time. Really, only the street markets of the Middle East beat this one on sheer scale. The quality and sheer quantity of handicrafts was really impressive. An entire road is blocked off from the Eastern Gate right through to a Wat over a mile away. Dozens of small side streets are also filled with stalls also.
I'm not sure wether this started purely for us tourists, like the other daily night market in Chiang Mai, but after a while there were many more Thai's than Falangs. And we all know that shopping is hungry work, so with a market this grand there was an adequate supply of street food to keep everyone fed, and importantly waiting times were kept to a minimum.
I think we had a good bash at trying as much as we could. Especially good were the local selection of sausages. Well I am English after all, and you can never keep a good sausage down. All were filled with pork, and some had red paste inside, others had lime, others were just down right fierce. All were grilled, and most of them were delicious. There were rows upon rows of women turning out Phad Thai and other noodle dishes. The Papaya Salad we had was nicely spicy and sour, which our throats were saved by the passion fruit juices we were consuming. 
Sushi was on offer and at only 5 or 10 Bhat a piece definitely good value, although at some attempts I saw, even I could of set up shop and made a profit. 
There were some dedicated areas, mainly inside Wats that had tables and chairs to sit down on and consume larger meals, like curries, noodles etc. I tried a green curry noodle soup which to my surprise was pretty damn good for a snack food. Must remember that one for when we get back home. Also chose a couple of portions of other curries and a plate of rice to munch on also whilst Lina was busy shopping away. 
My old Thai favourites were there also, like marinated chicken pieces, tied to some wooden sticks and grilled over live coals. This served with a sweet chilli sauce is my idea of heaven. Huge amounts of satay sticks were available also, pork, beef, squid, prawn and chicken all coated in delicious sauces and all grilled to perfection. 
It really was paradise and writing this is making me very hungry. So I have to stop and go get something to eat ........

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