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  • hardie karges 1:53 pm on April 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , cuisine, night market, ,   

    Part 2, Street-Food Crisis in Bangkok: Panic, Hoarding and General Pandemonium :-) 


    Let there be food on the street…


    Continued from previous…

    Solution: Ever heard of ‘night markets’? That’s what occurs when a few food vendors gather in the same area, after sundown, and it becomes a kind of makeshift food court, or much much more, and far preferable to sidewalk usurpers who become our—the pedestrian’s—mediator between life and death. Whenever these stalls are organized, everyone benefits, in hygiene, safety, diversity and organization. Apparently that’s what the Bangkok government wants to do…

    But the idea that street food is Bangkok’s best food is ludicrous. That’s like saying that America’s best food is KFC. Of course, part of the problem is definition. What passes for ‘street food’ in CNN’s next ’23 best’ are nothing like Bangkok, including New Orleans, which by Bangkok standards has NO street food, ditto Istanbul, or Paris, or Cairo, Marrakesh or Mexico City, all places that I know personally. Their sidewalks aren’t taken over by sidewalk seating and eating, just Bangkok, and much of Asia…


    Morning market haul


    And the narrative that this is where poor people eat is absolute BS. This is where tourists eat, and tuk-tuk drivers, and working women, many occupying seats for hours at the time. People on a tight budget eat in the market, with much better food, cheaper prices and reasonable hours. According to a local hack:

    “It’s what’s for breakfast, lunch and supper: market food, not to be confused with ‘street food’, to which it is superior and more varied IMHO, including famous Thai curries, which are almost NEVER found on the street (read: sidewalk). Here is a typical morning market haul: spicy southern coconut-based curry (30B), northern tomato-based hot sauce ‘nam prik aung’ (20B), stir-fried chicken w/ ginger (20B), and sticky (glutinous) rice (20B). If I’d bought 25B worth of rice, instead of 20B, it would’ve lasted me all day, 95B = less than $3. Try that with ‘street food.’ เต็มอิ่มแซบ (More …)

  • hardie karges 1:41 pm on April 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , cuisine, , , , , Yaowarat   

    Part 1: Street Food Crisis in Bangkok, City of Angels, L-O-S… 


    Best northern food in Chiang Mai, but not on the sidewalk…

    Land of Smiles, that is, until you f*ck with the food, just one spoonful short of the prized phrik (hot pepper) or sacred sugar, and you’re in real trouble, Thai food something of a gustatory dialectic wending its way between the extremes of spicy and jeut, sour and sweet, hot and cold flavors, filling or not. And now the military government wants to clean up the sidewalks of street vendors, including food vendors…

    Well, you’d think North Korea had begun launching missiles down south, the way the Twitter-verse and Facebookers are responding to Bangkok’s crackdown on ‘street food’ this week. Now everybody is Anthony Freaking Bourdain, with epicurean DNA, a favorite street chef in Bangkok, a culinary stiffie and a golden thumb for golden drum-sticks, browned and crisped to smoky perfection and ready for prime time… (More …)

    • davekingsbury 9:06 pm on April 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      My son has just returned from Thailand and he and his family enjoyed the street food … will show him this when I see him next. Wonder if he had that som tam …

  • hardie karges 8:58 am on August 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cookies, cuisine, , ,   

    Curry Cookies, and All That Spice… 

    What is the deal with Indians and their curry powder? I mean: there are a few things that taste good without it, right? Right? This has to be the culinary cliche’ of all time, beyond Americans and their hamburgers, Italians and their pasta, Mexicans and their chilies, or Thais with THEIR chilies. This was made clear to me when, in a hurry, I picked up a pack of cookies for later consumption, without first checking the ingredients, secure in my conviction that I had a safe bundle of something sweet and filling for later–wrong. When I finally got around to them, they tasted like–you guessed it–curry! AARRGGHH! What to do? Peanut butter doesn’t help, only drags the PB down to that level, too. I mean: Americans don’t have hamburger flavored cookies, nor Italians their pasta-flavored cookies, nor Mexican their chili-flavored ones. Thais probably do, but that’s to be expected. I guess I’ll just wait for a rainy day and i’m truly desperate. There are plenty of these here in Nepal…

    • Esther Fabbricante 10:25 am on August 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Strange for sure.

  • hardie karges 3:54 am on December 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cuisine, Thailand. Chiang Mai   

    Northern Thai Food: Don’t Forget the Sticky Rice… 


    The best northern Thai food in Chiang Mai…

    Everybody loves Thai food–pad prieow wan, tom yam goong, gaeng kari, or maybe pad thai–but that’s central Thai food, with strong Malay, Chinese, and Indian influences.

    Northern Thailand has its own cuisine, though, also. For most tourists, that means ‘khao soi‘, a curry-and-noodles concoction that is actually Burmese, not Thai at all, and cousin to the biryani-like khao mok gai, both product of the previous long-term Burmese occupation. Food conquers where armies fail.


    For the northern Thai food connoisseur, though, nam prik ong and nam ngieow are standard ‘comfort foods’ (actually nam ngieow is something more like a true Tai ‘khao soi‘ as opposed to the Muslim version it’s more famous for). Then there are numerous versions of larb (lahp), both raw and cooked, pork and chicken, that some people meatier than I find extremely tasty. But there’s more, and my favorite is a little front-yard stall up on Kampaengdin Street in Chiang Mai, where the tuk-tuk drivers eat. Here you can even get fish larb, something I’ve never seen elsewhere, and best eaten with sticky rice. You heard it here first.

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