Street Eats (pt 1 of many)

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If you have a few baht in your pocket, you can’t go far in this city hungry. Food exists on every street. Markets crowd the avenues and surround the parks. They shift like the tide.

The first day in Bangkok I thought I was lost, only to realize that I was on the right road, the market I’d previously walked through had changed completely in just three hours time.

On Si Lom Road, the 1/2 mile long market running both sides of the street has three distinct phases. In the early morning, it is snacks and food catering to the locals. Mostly take-away food ready to eat, for business workers to snatch up on the way to the office. After lunch time that market has broken down completely and a new one has taken it’s place. New booths and new vendors hawk fruit, baked goods and gifts, things for the local workforce to buy when they get out of work. Once the locals have left for the day, another market appears, selling souvenirs, knock off tee shirts, pot pipes and banana pancakes for the tourists.

Some markets specialize in ladies make-up and clothing, some in tourist trinkets, some in flowers, but the food is always present. I thought I had a handle on the food a couple of days in, but then I started to notice subtle variations in preparations and completely new dishes masquerading as familiar favorites.

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The fried chicken stands are ubiquitous, but upon closer inspection, the one on Convent rd with the long lines is actually making a really tasty fried chicken salad. This one should be pretty easy to recreate at home.

Breaded fried chicken thighs, cut off the bone and into small chunks, tossed with julienned carrot, red onion, white onion, scallion. Dressed with lime juice, fish sauce, chilies, sugar. Served over rice, with a sprinkling of roasted rice powder over it, this dish is simple, approachable and delicious. I’d like to try it with peanuts and ginger at home.