Bangkok Hunting and Gathering

Here are my favorite food photos from life in Bangkok in the summer and autumn of 2015 and since I moved back at the end of this January.



(Above five photos) The above dishes are usually served as a noodle soup. Over time though I realized that you can request them as “dry noodles”, which means that the noodles and toppings are served without broth (but with a small bowl of soup on the side). After I discovered this option I almost always order dry noodles. Thailand is hot enough and I don’t need a huge bowl of soup to warm me up even more.
A noodle stand in Bangkok’s Chinatown
Tables beside another noodle stand in Chinatown


Pad Thai (Thai style fried noodles)

(Above two photos) A Pad thai vendor.


Stir Fry and Curry

This is a common casual way of selling Thai stir fry and currie dishes. Some of these vendors have tables available and others offer takeaway only. Normally you choose 1-3 items with rice but as an alternative takeaway option you can also get a larger portion of any of the items without rice. More and more I choose this latter option because I’m trying to cut down on white carbs and most days I cook my own whole grain rice at home.
All of the photos in this post come from street food or other cheap and casual places (and all the Thai food pictured costs about $1.00-1.50 USD per item). The food in this photo is from a food court in Terminal 21, a shopping center not far from my condominium. The dish on the left quarter of the plate is green papaya salad (somtam), which in my opinion is one of Thailand’s greatest contributions to civilization. Thin strips of green papaya, tomato, chili, lime juice, fish sauce (and with the variation in this photo corn and chunks of apple) are very lightly mashed in a large wooden mortar, blending all the flavors together deliciously.



(Above four photos) One of the endless joys of living in Thailand is the fruit smoothie stands they have everywhere. Vietnam has these as well but there are interesting differences. In Thailand, smoothie stands typically display cups with different types of fruit or combinations of several varieties. Customers choose the cup they want and the vendor whips up the smoothie in a blender. These photos are from a popular smoothie shop in the same nearby shopping center I mentioned above. There is almost always a line here but they have a bank of five blenders and the staff work very efficiently, so the wait is short. At these sorts of smoothie stands gum syrup is added by default (or sweetened condensed milk in Vietnam and Cambodia) but I always get mine unsweetened. In the last of the four photos you can see a staff member replenishing the fruit cups, a never ending task at this popular shop. The prices are all between $1.00-1.25 USD for a large smoothie.


International Food

From Pala Pizza Romana, a casual but tasty and popular shop beside Terminal 21, the shopping center I mentioned above. I used to think of this place as fast food (probably because they have a takeout window and are next to a Dunkin Donuts) but I keep meeting Italians living here in Bangkok who recommend it. The pizza is in fact really good and at $3-4 a slice not cheap.
From a restaurant in Bangkok’s Chinatown
This is a unique street food vendor very near my condominium and one of my favorites. For 35 baht (roughly $1.00 USD) you get a large bag of fresh salad with all the toppings you see in the photo, along with a choice of several homemade dressings (in the lower left of the photo).

(Above three photos) Street vendors in Bangkok’s Chinatown.


(Above two photos) One of the things that still surprises me when I return to the US to visit family is the size of the food portions there. Entrees, desserts, sodas – everything is enormous. And so are a lot of the people! Along with excessive amounts of sugar and other white carbs, I think the over-the-top portion sizes are a big reason for the obesity epidemic there. For comparison, here are some Thai cupcakes at a popular night market in Bangkok.





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