In 2018, I was lucky to be sent to Bangkok, Thailand to do a 2 weeks advanced cooking course. I have been before this a few years prior, yet it was only a quick stopover to Australia. This time I immersed myself in the Thai culture of street food.
I was blown away with how fragrant, fresh and vibrant the street food culture is. Rather than going to a supermarket as we do in the western world, Thai people walk down the thousands of “street food” streets on their way home from work and pick up what they need.
You can buy all kinds of produce from the street food markets, things like homemade Thai curry sauces, fresh vegetables, Pad Thai noodles, Spicy Green Papaya salads, BBQ eggs, BBQ fish and meats and Thai desserts.
It looks like its overwhelming at first yet if you embrace it, you can see how much love the Thai people put into there carts and this is their daily living so they have to be good to get repeat customers.
In the day time, they are fresh vegetable markets and places you can buy fresh fish, meat, dairy, eggs, noodles and curry paste etc. In the evening around dinner time, more and more individual carts come out with there own speciality of Thai street food.
Below in a vegetable market in the day time.
It’s hard to explain how important it is to actually see these markets because of the sheer size of fresh produce, obviously, Thailand is a hot tropical country so the amount of fresh vegetables and fruit is amazing.
The fruit is massive in Thailand with beautiful fruits like Mangosteen, Jack fruits, Durian (smelly), Rambutan, Mango’s, Pomelo and Lychees. Durian is a funny one for people to discover, it really smells and is quite weird to try, it’s slightly sweet, not my favourite. Mangosteen, on the other hand, is like fruit ice cream. Mangosteen doesn’t travel well so unfortunately, it doesn’t make it way over to Europe.
Here’s another video, showing the beautiful fish available and how they cook in the street over charcoal. You just have to imagine the smells of the BBQ charcoal and street food. truly amazing experience.
What I hoping to give you a sense of is how Thai food and culture of street food is all about bringing a great experience for the customer. Thai people are so generous and kind and it reflects in the abundance of quality of food and amazing recipes they have.
I will be sharing loads of Thai recipes on PopUpChef and I’m looking forward to sharing more experiences and recipes that I had from the Bangkok Thai cooking academy.
What’s your favourite Thai dish? Check out this Thai Red Curry.
Or Leave a comment below and I can share a great recipe of it for you.
Happy Cooking, PopUpChef.
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