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Posts Tagged ‘street food’

BBQ Chicken (Wednesday Photo)

Michael Babcock, Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Nakhon Pathom Chicken Vendor

BBQ Chicken Vendor

Kasma buying BBQ chicken

I like this picture of Kasma about to buy some barbecue chicken in Nakhon Pathom. It gives a bit of the sense of how crowded these markets can get and how hot, with the steaming chicken under a characteristic umbrella (barely visible at the top).

I went back into the archives for this one: it was originally taken as a slide back in 2003 and converted to digital by scanning the slide.


The Wednesday Photo is a new picture each week highlighting something of interest in Thailand. Click on the picture to see a larger version.

Thai Food To Go

Michael Babcock, Saturday, June 26th, 2010

One of the best parts about Thailand is the ready availability of street food. And one of the best parts about Thai street food is that you can get anything you want “to go.” There’s such a wide availability of delicious-looking fresh food at reasonable prices that I sometimes wonder why Thai people ever cook at home. (See Kasma’s Delights of Thai Street Food.)

Pork Satay

Pork Satay "to go"

The usual method of packaging food to go is to simply put the  hot food into a plastic bags and to seal it up with a rubber band.

(Click on an image to see a larger version.)

Satay To Go

Satay, ready to carry home

Our first picture shows pork satay from Talaat Sahmrong (Sahmrong Market) in Samut Prakahn (just north of Bangkok). The satay, bagged when it’s piping hot from the grill, has it’s own bag. If a dish requires condiments or side dishes, it’s no problem: they each get their own little plastic bag. In this case there’s a separate bag for the fiery, hot dipping sauce, one for the cucumber salad and one for the vinegar dressing for the cucumber salad. So here there are four plastic bags in all, which are then put in a fifth bag for carrying. Most vendors will have the smaller bags prepared in advance. In this case the vendor only had to bag the satay, wrap it with a rubber band (see below) and toss the other three smaller bags into the carry bag.

Rubber Band To Go

Rubber banded to go package

For another example of a dish with condiments packaged up in plastic bags, see Michael’s blog Street Food Congee (Jook, or Johk).

Plastic bags to go are nearly universally sealed with rubber bands. The only exception I’ve seen was a time last year when we received some Thai salt and pepper (prik nahm bplah) in a zip lock bag. There’s a picture on our blog entry on Thai Salt & Pepper. Rubber bands are the far superior method: I’ve never seen them leak whereas the zip locked prik nahm bplah leaked all over.

A word is certainly in order on these rubber-banded bags. It’s startling how quickly a vendor will twist the rubber band multiple times and then secure it in some mysterious fashion that creates a seal so tight that there’s nary a leak. Twist, twist, twist, done. It’s a matter of seconds, or less. It can also be startling how difficult some of these bags are to un-band! If you don’t believe me, check out some of the posts at this Nation (an English newspaper in Thailand) Forum on Those Freaking Rubber Bands. I also found a video on how it’s done (Thailand Survival Skills: Dealing with Rubber Bands); I’ve never been able to unwind them as easily is this video shows!

Sticky Rice and Mango

Sticky Rice and Mango, to go

Another option for to go food is a styrofoam container. I’ll include a couple of pictures here; the first one is from our blog on Thong Lo Mangos (and Sticky Rice). In this case, the sweet coconut cream sauce is placed in a rubber-banded plastic bag, to be poured over the sticky rice only when you are ready to eat. Our favorite duck noodle shop (Thong Lo Duck Noodles) also uses a combination of styrofoam, in this case for roasted duck, with the accoutrements of two kinds of sauces and pickles in the plastic bags. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen styrofoam containers from a street food vendor: these seem to come from store fronts, who have more space for styrofoam containers (which take up far more room than a plastic bag).

Roast Duck To Go

Roast duck and accoutrements


Written by Michael Babcock, June 2010

Mobile Street Vendor (Wednesday Photo)

Michael Babcock, Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Ultra Mobile Street vendor

Mobile street vendor

Mobile street vendor

This picture was taken on the streets of Nakhon Si Thammarat and gives a good sense of how some street vendors move their operation from home to a selling location. I saw this go past on the street, ran almost a whole block and snapped it just as she was about to pull away from a red light.

This vendor has it fairly easy and gets to use a motor cycle to move her operation; others are not so lucky and pull them along by hand.


The Wednesday Photo is a new picture  each week highlighting something of interest in Thailand. Click on the picture to see a larger version.

Noodle Shop Sign (Wednesday Photo)

Michael Babcock, Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Noodle Soup, No Noodles

Noodle Soup Sign

Noodle Soup Sign

Traveling in Thailand, it’s a real advantage to be able to read Thai, particularly at restaurants. When I was teaching myself how to read, I got a menu from one of our favorite restaurants – My Choice, in Bangkok – and learned how to read all the dishes. If nothing else, I could order food.

This sign is a good example of why. The second item down is “soup from a noodle shop without noodle.” In essence, noodle soup without the noodles. In Thai it would be called gao lao and is a perfectly good option – broth and the other items, just no noodles.


The Wednesday Photo is a new picture  each week highlighting something of interest in Thailand. Click on the picture to see a larger version.

Chive Cakes (Wednesday Photos)

Michael Babcock, Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Chive Cakes

Chive Cakes at Thong Lo Market

Chive Cakes at Thong Lo Market

Thailand is sometimes described an one big open air food market. Among the delights that you might come across are these chive cakes photographed at a street vendor near Thong Lo, which is what Sukhumvit Soi 55 is called. When you buy them from a vender, he cuts them up with a pair of scissors and tosses them in a plastic bag, along with a black soy dipping sauce and a skewer or two for spearing the bites. The Thai name is Kanom Gooy-chai.

We have more market pictures on the website. For more on the Thong Lo street food scene, see One Soi’s Street Food Scene.


The Wednesday Photo is a new picture  each week highlighting something of interest in Thailand. Click on the picture to see a larger version.

Kao Mun Gkai (Wednesday Photo)

Michael Babcock, Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Poached Chicken over Rice

Poached Chicken over Rice

Poached Chicken over Rice

There are numerous types of one-dish meals that are common all over Thailand, such as this one. The Thai name is Kao Mun Gkai, composed of the words kao (rice), mun (oil or fat) and gkai (chicken). When Kasma teaches it in her classes, she calls it Poached Chicken Rice with Melon Soup and Hot Fermented Soybean and Ginger Sauce.

It consists of a chicken (Kasma usually uses a capon), which is poached, and then served over rice that has been cooked in the rendered chicken fat (the mun portion of the dish) and in broth from poaching the chicken – much like an Italian  risotto. It is served with a simple broth with winter green melon or fuzzy melon (not pictured) and a spicy fermented soybean and ginger sauce (shown in the sauce dish above).

When done well, it is succulent, juicy chicken served over rice rich with chicken fat and a good bit of pizzazz from the sauce. It is often seen as a street food and there are also shops that specialize in the dish. You can recognize where it is sold by the plump, whole chickens hanging on display. This picture was taken at a shop in Songkla, in the south of Thailand.

Kasma teaches this dish in her Advanced Series Set D (class 3) and Weeklong Set B (day 3).


The Wednesday Photo is a new picture  each week highlighting something of interest in Thailand. Click on the picture to see a larger version.