Thai Food in Thailand

Thai Food In Thailand

Thai food has always relied on the freshest of ingredients to ensure that the flavours have their greatest impact. Many families do not have fridges so storing food for use the next day or beyond is out of the question. People will go to the market every day to get meat, vegetables, herbs or seafood for cooking that same day. Some will go multiple times to get food for each meal of the day.

Markets in Thailand are filled with hundreds of smells and sites that will entice and sometimes horrify newcomers. Fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, seafood, rice, herbs and spices, cooked meals, rice, noodles and more are all available in these markets that are always buzzing with activity. For around $1US, you can purchase curries, stir-fries, noodle dishes, soups and bags of snacks to eat on site or take home to consume. A lot of Thai people who live in built-up areas or cities do not have kitchens in their apartments so buy their meals at markets on the way home.

The fresh food areas of the markets are packed with an incredible array of ingredients. Vegetable stands are piled high with leafy greens, eggplants, tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic and onions plus hundreds of other items. Fresh herbs are bound with strips of banana leaf and sold for under one dollar, bags of chillis and limes are sold in the hundreds and snake beans are draped across tables.

The meat sections of markets will have every part of the beast on display and usually the meat is sold until there is none left. The heads, feet, insides and more are used in celebrations, for stews, curries and more. There is no cling wrap and plastic trays here! Usually the meat that is sold at markets has been killed the same day and in villages, if a family kills a pig, for example, the excess meat is sold to neighbours or other village members. Every part of the animal is used to feed one hungry mouth or another, unlike in the West where a lot of meat is discarded for animal feed.

Fish and seafood is on display in large amounts. Fresh cockles and clams are piled in huge trays, squid of all shape and size slide around while customers decide which one looks the best. Fish are killed and gutted on the spot after they are chosen from big tubs that they were swimming in.

Fruit is another key component to Thai food and is eaten both as a snack and a dessert. Rows of bananas of all shapes and sizes hang throughout markets, exotic fruits like mangosteen, dragonfruit and salat are piled up in gorgeous displays of colour. Bags of pre-cut fruit are also sold as well as many varieties of fresh fruit shakes that are made on the spot with sugar syrup, water and fruit. The omnipresent durian, known as the King of Fruit in Asia will definitely be found at most markets in Thailand.

Street Vendors
Thailand is filled with thousands of street food vendors who sell their food on streets, beside rivers, on the beach and everywhere in between. These noisy and energetic stalls will usually sell a certain type of food – such as pad thai, stewed pork, noodle soups, sweets, stir-fries and curries. This food is fast and fresh and you are bound to have a delicious and very cheap meal if you eat at one of these stalls.

The vendors have a number of different types. Some are attached to the side of a motorbike and driven round to bars, restaurants and other events. They will sell bbq sticks of pork, beef and chicken, fish balls, dried squid and other items. They also sometimes sell sweets like ice cream and fruit. Other vendors will sell items from baskets that are attached to a bamboo pole and slung over their shoulders. These will sell grilled eggs, som tum, bbq'd seafood and more. Pushcarts or trolleys are another one of these types of vendors. They will set up and take down their stall every day and are often located in a little area with other similar vendors. These stalls can sell anything from soups to curries to salads and desserts. Eating from any of these vendors will undoubtedly give you an amazing variety of foods to try. Pick one that is popular with locals and has a high turnover of food. For bbq stands, pick one that grills the food in front of you rather than has pre-grilled items and don't be afraid to try something that is new!