Som Tam and Gai Yang!
I have been living in Thailand for more than 16 years now. I’ve had Thai food each and every day. I could not be happier with the selection of Thai foods here in the country, I couldn’t have imagined I’d make the adjustment to eating it so easily. Initially when I arrived I thought I craved McDonald’s or pizza, Subway, a lot. I’d have it about every other day. For the last maybe 8 years though, I’ve not had many cravings for western food. At least not as much as some of my expat friends that seem to need it to survive.
Recently – the last two years, this has changed a bit and I’ve been having mad cravings for things I didn’t eat much of back in the states – like Kit Kat chocolate bars, Doritoes, and potato chips!
The food in Thailand is so varied. Though I usually eat the following meals – there are hundreds of dishes to choose from:
Gwit Diao Moo (Gai, Talay, Tom Yum) – a noodle soup, typical staple food for Thais – especially at lunch when they want something filling and cheap. Students can be found overflowing the gwit diao street stands at lunch in the northeast and all over the country.
Khao Pad Gai (Moo, Talay) – fried rice with chicken or anything else you want. I sometimes get it “Kai Dao” with a fried egg on the top, depending what that shop’s idea of a fried egg means. It’s variable.
Gai Pad King – ginger chicken and usually with some red peppers and maybe some other vegetables, depending on the restaurant or food stand.
Som Tam with Sticky Rice and Chicken – one of my favorite meals for sure. Som Tam Laos style with bla-rah – fermented fish or boo-bla rah – with fermented crab pieces.
Bamboo Lahp – I forget the name because Joy always orders it for me, I never have to say it… lol.
Lahp Gai (Moo, Talay, Neu-uh) – a very spicy and awesome tasting dish eaten with sticky rice and usually som tam too.
Pad Thai – though I don’t eat it much, if the restaurant makes it well – this can be an absolute favorite Thai food to eat. There are plenty of restaurants that make it too greasy, too runny (wet), and without the right vegetables or even the right ingredients at all. I found the pad thai in the northeastern part of Thailand to be the best (as with most foods).
That’s really about it. Oh, one more…
Kow Men Gai – in the morning this is a great dish, if they use good rice. It’s sliced chicken breast on top of rice, with a sauce that has a lot of flavor – usually with ginger in it and not sure what else… vinegar? Awesome breakfast because the rice fills you up and it’s served with a very small cup of broth from the gwit diao soup, so you get both with your meal. Order just gwit diao and you don’t get rice and chicken samplers on the side.
The above are what I eat on a daily / weekly basis… Of course I didn’t talk about all the fruits I eat daily – like rambutan (in season now (may-august)), sweet tangerines, bananas (3 types I love), watermelon, dragon fruit (just coming into season again!), etc…
There are so many amazing things to eat here that I don’t usually get bored. When I do get a craving for something from the west it is usually in the form of Italian or French bread. The grocery stores here have a deli section and they do make bread. It isn’t great, but it’s all I have.
Alternatively I go get a pizza. There are many expats from Italy in Thailand -and they open lots of pizza shops. It’s hard to beat Italian made pizza!
Thai foods are so variable – it is not often I tire if it. Probably this is the best place in the world to live for eating local food. Food in Thailand seems healthier than in the USA. The availability of Thai fruit everywhere one turns – is a big plus.
This post written by Vern – Joy’s hubby.