What you must try in Thailand. And the coronavirus is not a hindrance
You have to go to Thailand not only for the warm sea and exotic, but also for the amazing street food. The more so that the stricter rules for entry into this country because of the coronavirus does not apply to tourists from Russia. Our columnist took a walk through the night markets of Bangkok and Hua Hin and tasted the local delicacies.
A makashnitsa is a small mobile stall cart that combines a kitchen, a display case and a cash register. The cook, salesperson, and cashier are all in one person. Makashnitsy start working in the morning and finish late at night, the choice of dishes is quite large, with both purely Thai specialties, and options from European cuisine. It is quite easy to find such makashnahs, they stand along the walking roads, at busy intersections, near squares and parks.
Of course, owners of “macashnickas” never wash them to shine, but if you watch them more attentively you will notice that after each client they wipe them and some set of obligatory hygienic procedures is carried out. No one benefits to you to poison, all fighting for the customer, but to have to deal with checks from government agencies, no one wants. However, if you have a weak stomach, choose dishes that will be prepared in front of you, do not take what is prepared in advance.
A deli where they sell durian in a vacuum pack. This is the only way you can take durian on an airplane.
TOP FIVE DISHES AND FOODS TO TRY IN THAILAND
We recommend both the fruit itself and drinks made from it. The most popular is the coconut drink, it’s delicious and looks very southern! Nothing like a light refreshing drink in whole coconut to make you feel like you’re on vacation. If it’s really hot. try coconut ice cream, delicate and, most importantly, cold. On top of it can be sprinkled with various nuts, if you want, of course.
You can buy mini pineapples, mango slices (they’ll peel them on the spot), watermelon, papaya. Lovers of the exotic can venture a taste of durian, in Thai Too-Ree-An. Durian is considered the king of fruits, but its taste and especially its smell is very peculiar. Remember that durians are not allowed in hotels or any public place, and may not be carried in your luggage on an airplane. You could be fined. The exceptions are vacuum packed and dried durian.
Thai fruits: pitahaya, strawberries and pink apples.
Be sure to try the local pink apples – roseapple, Thai name: Chom-Phu. Eat them whole, but you can also cut them into slices.
There are a lot of bananas grown in Thailand, some of them quite small, with thin skin – Kluai Khai, or on the contrary, long – Kluai Hom. Green bananas are cooked with spices, half-ripe bananas are dried, and the fully ripe ones are boiled in coconut milk, in sweet syrup, baked, or deep-fried.
All kinds of kebabs.
The four main ingredients for delicious Thai kebabs: open fire, spices, sugar and oil, lots of oil!
The easiest and fastest snack in Thailand is mini kebabs. Here you can thread anything from pieces of pork, chicken and lamb to okra, mushrooms and even scorpions on sticks. The same goes for the deep fryer: they fry everything in huge bowls: minced meat, fish or meat, vegetables, and whole pieces of meat.
Different variations of Thai kebabs.
Satay, satay Thai kebabs are pieces of chicken or pork marinated in coconut milk, grilled on a bamboo skewer. Served with peanut sauce. Tofu and squid skewers are also found.
Soups and ready-to-eat dinner kits
These kits are sold mostly during the day, Thais buy them for breakfast or lunch. They eat them on the spot or take them with them to their offices.
“Packaged” soup packages. They give a disposable spoon to the dish, sometimes a plate. Such lunches are very much loved by the Thais themselves.
Thai-style sushi and rolls
Thais adore Japanese cuisine, but prepare a little differently.
Thai-style rolls wrapped in pandanus leaves
Spring rolls are a Chinese dish borrowed by chefs not only in Thailand but throughout Asia. It is now a popular snack that can be found not only on the streets, but also in serious restaurants. There are a huge number of recipes and everywhere they are prepared in different ways. Most often, the filling is fried separately first, and then the whole dish is deep-fried. Inside can be: glass noodles, thinly sliced vegetables, cucumber, cabbage and carrots, tofu, pork, mushrooms: black wood, oyster mushrooms or shiitake.
Street desserts, which in Thailand are simply called “Knohn”, are hugely popular. In fact, it is anything that can be used as a snack, while not always sweet; the taste can also be sour, salty.
For example, Kanom Buang: small pancakes made from egg whites whipped with sugar are crispy and filled with fruit, grated coconut, and shrimp. They come in small portions and desserts to suit all tastes.
Pancakes with banana (Banana Roti). These pancakes made of flour with banana added are called Roti. They are made in front of the customer and served with or without toppings, sweet, sour, and salty. Watch a video of a pancake vendor at Sakata Market in Hua Hin turning their preparation into a real show.
Knom Krok are mini puddings, pancakes made of coconut milk and rice, sprinkled thickly with sweet corn, green onions, and coconut shavings on top. They are cooked in a special skillet, similar to our nutcracker, in which Soviet housewives used to make cookie pancakes.
Sometimes mini quail eggs are cooked in such pans.
Fried potato balls made from yams, Khanom Khai Nok Krata, is a popular dish that is also cooked on the streets. It translates as “dessert quail eggs.” In reality, quail eggs are not part of it, the name is given only because of the external resemblance. Due to the fact that the tubers of yams of different varieties differ in color quite a bit (yellow, burgundy, etc.), the balls also come in different colors.
Sweet balls are usually tasty for both adults and children.
Fried insects – an unusual delicacy – crunchy little maggots, silkworms and bamboo worms, crickets and scorpions, baked to a crisp with spices and salt, are sold by weight. Anyone can not only try the local delicacy, but also take it home with them. Crickets can also be bought in factory packaging with the international quality certificate GMP labeled on it.
The scorpion is completely edible only the carcass, the sting and claws are not eaten, the head to taste, not everyone likes its peculiar taste.
Raan Jay Fai – Bangkok’s Street Food Legend
Supinya ‘Jay Fai’ Junsuta is a local urban legend. The 74-year-old chef of her own street food restaurant, which is internationally renowned as Bangkok’s first Michelin-starred street food restaurant in 2018. J.F. selects the best ingredients for her dishes and stands by the open fire all day herself, cooking for her customers. She always wears ski goggles and a beanie to protect her eyes from the oil splattering in all directions, and she dyes her lips red for beauty. This is her signature style, by which the grandmother-chef is recognized by everyone. Guests come to the restaurant not just to eat, but to enjoy a real culinary show, a fragment of which we invite you to watch.
Prices at Jay’s are quite high, you have to pay about 1000 baht (about 2120 rubles) for a signature seafood omelet.
J’s famous dish – Thai crab omelette
In addition to the omelet at the restaurant you can also try other dishes: rice with crabs, drunken rice noodles with seafood, giant shrimp with bamboo sprouts and noodles. It is very interesting that the restaurant itself has existed for about 40 years, but before it opened, no one believed in the culinary abilities of its hostess. Moreover, relatives thought that she did not cook well. But Aunty Fai’s charisma, determination and efficiency, as she is affectionately known in Bangkok, have made her world-famous.
Thanks to the Tourism Authority of Thailand for organizing the trip.