Thailand is famous for many things, breath-taking scenery and great weather, friendly people and luxury tropical island resorts. It’s also recognised as a paradise for foodies, with not only a huge choice of upscale eateries and elegant bistros but also some of the best street food to be found in Asia.
Thai food is fresh and vibrant, ideally, it’s a harmonious blend of sweet, sour, fiery spice and subtle. If you have a passion for food make sure you arrive here with an empty stomach and it won’t take long before you’re in love with Thai cuisine and its intoxicating aromas.
Street food is part of Thai culture, it’s convenient, delicious and incredibly good value. Day or night, everywhere you look vendors are stir-frying in battered woks, mixing spices, barbequing meat skewers or boiling noodles. Food is prepared, cooked, and eaten at roadside stalls, on make-shift tables set up on street corners and in the local markets – we’re sure you get the picture.
Grab this chance to try these unique street foods as many of them aren’t available in the restaurants. If you see lots of Thai people tucking in, then you can be sure it’s good! You’ll be surprised at how such tasty dishes can be produced from such a simple set-up.
Each stall generally specialises in a particular dish, if you’re not sure what it is stand and watch for a while and see what’s being served. Some vendors might speak English but even if they don’t, they’ll be friendly and with lots of pointing and gesturing they’ll serve you up something scrumptious in a flash.
Here are some of our favourite street foods, easily available in Phuket.
Thai salads are nothing like the western type, they often use seafood, herbs and add a fiery kick with Thai chilli. The most popular of them all is ‘Som Tam’, or green papaya salad.
Feel the burn for yourself at a street stall in Phuket, the perfect balance of sweet, sour, and spicy in this salad is unique, and it all starts with an unripe green papaya. Using a pestle and mortar, sugar, lime juice, Thai chillies, dried shrimp and fish sauce, are pounded together to enhance the flavours and make dressing. The thin, crunchy strips of papaya, peanuts, and veggies are added, usually tomatoes and green beans, and you have a juicy, tongue-tingling mixture. If you’re worried it’s too spicy, then just ask for, ‘mai pet’. In Phuket, a crab is often thrown in for added crunchiness and flavour. Make sure you get some ‘Kow Neeyao’, sticky rice, to mop up the flavours.
Watch in fascination as the vendor whips up Pad Thai in a flash, the cooking process is an art form. The national dish of Thailand, the mix of vegetables, shrimp, and additions like tamarind pulp, crushed nuts, egg, bean sprouts, lime, and Thai chilli for a spicy kick, is delicious.
Usually served with tofu and shrimp, you can also ask for chicken, they’re all pretty tasty!