I’ve been eating a whole lot of Thai food for 5 years now, daily. Not every meal, but one out of three meals is always Thai, and usually 3/3 or 2/3. I’ve successfully converted my entire diet away from mainstream America’s eating out for every meal.
How is it going?
I adjusted really easily to eating Thai food full-time. At first it was a novelty… Thai Tom Yum Goong was my favorite for a while and I ate it most every meal… then it was Yum Woonsen as my favorite food… then Pad Thai, then Gai Pad King, then Kow Men Gai – chicken fried rice… Eventually I probably called my “favorite” about 25 different foods at one time or another. Currently my favorite Thai food is bamboo Lahb or lahp, in Thai – “Soup Naw Mai”. Lahp of all kinds makes my mouth water and heart palpate. If you get a chance try Lahp Gai – chicken Lahp to see if you like the taste… if you do – quickly get yourself a plate of Soup Naw Mai and write me a thank you letter when you get home!
Lahp is stellar Thai food.
More on my Thailand food experience the last five years…
The first couple years I was just enjoying the novelty of eating a completely different diet than American food. I tried many different dishes, and though I didn’t dislike many of them I, of course, found some of my favorites and stuck with them for the most part.
Breakfast I usually have Thai Food in the form of Gwat Jap or Gwat Diao – a chicken noodle soup with fine vermicelli like rice noodles. Eating hot soup in the morning is Thai style and something that took a little getting used to – but now I’ve got it sorted and I’ve consumed vast amounts of this Chinese-Thai delicacy for breakfast. For the right taste one need add copious amounts of dried chilies.
Lunches of Thai Food consist of Som Tam, Bamboo Lahp, Pad Cee-Yu, Phad Pet Sator – a killer fava bean dish that I eat 2-3 times per week.
Dinner is of course, Thai Food! I like to have something light as I don’t like consuming too much rice in the evening. Thais eat a lot of rice and to them – no matter. To me, I blow up like a marshmallow if I eat rice at night. Not sure why I just know to limit this thai staple to 1 cup at night with dinner.
Lets see, over 5 years, 1800+ days, 5400 meals I’ve eaten Thai food about 4800 times (my guess). Sometimes I’m jonesin for a bag of Doritos and I eat the entire thing and call that dinner. That doesn’t happen often, but the last few months it does. I think I’ve consumed about 17 bags of Doritos over the past 4-5 months. In the US I had a bag of Doritoes -an entire bag, maybe once per year. The cravings, when they do hit for American foods – hit very hard.
My overall impression about Thai food is that it is the best food in the world to switch over to from the American diet. If you like the Thai foods at your favorite Thai restaurant in the states, UK, Australia, or wherever you happen to be – you will love the food once you arrive in Thailand and sample it’s true delicious nature – not dumbed down for the foreign visitors.
Best place in Thailand to get food?
Without a doubt, the northeast, Isaan region. They have the most amazing Thai food – authentic and bursting with flavor. It’s hottest in Isaan, and it’s the best… absolutely. As a bonus they are close to Laos and Cambodia and there are some great foods coming from those countries too. Ask me about “kow chee” for breakfast sometime… oh MAN… Unbelievable food from Laos that will knock your flip-flops off. Basically it’s sticky rice mixed with coconut milk, salt, and some other foodstuff. It’s grilled in little hamburger shaped patties you can buy for 2 baht each. I used to eat 8-10. I’d be full until past lunch time. They’re amazing with some moo yang (barbequed pork pieces on a stick).
Ahhhhh, Thai food Isaan style. There might be no better food in the world.
If you haven’t been to Thailand yet – book your trip. Politically, things have calmed a lot and we’re ready for elections again. 2010 will be a good year to visit and eat up all varieties of Thai food!