Updated: Sep 27
As we all know, 2020 has definitely hit the world harder than expected. One thing that’s for definite, those who ‘catch flights over feelings’ are probably clenching onto their passports waiting for those border restrictions to lift.
So where are we traveling next?
As having previously lived in Thailand, my taste for Thai cuisine has rapidly increased, along with my spice tolerance.
Bangkok is one of the best cities to try out street food filled with chicken, pork, noodles, fish, and much more. You can definitely find yourself getting stuck in the crowds when exploring these food markets, as they are a hot spot for tourists. A bonus is when you witness Thai nationals buying their dinner from there too – that’s when you know you’ve hit the jackpot!
However, if street food doesn’t fill up your appetite, then there are plenty of other high-quality restaurants located around the beautiful city of Bangkok.
So let’s jump right into it, which national dish should you try first?
My top three options would be Pad Krapow (Thai Basil chicken/pork), Panang Gai (chicken), and Bha Mhee Moo Daeng (egg noodle with roasted pork). YUM!
So, it actually took me a while to try pad krapow as I wasn’t familiar with its name. However, luckily for me, I had a friend who was quite obsessed with it and mentioned it almost every day, so I decided to try and support a new restaurant opening right by the school that I worked at. I loved it so much I ordered it twice in one sitting and had another one made to takeaway while my mouth was still stuffed.
Pad Krapow can be either minced chicken or pork with basil. I usually preferred the chicken. As always, any Thai dish will have some hint of spice to it, but you can always ask the restaurant to keep it as cool as possible depending on your spice tolerance. A fried egg is usually added on top of the dish with some rice on the side and voila, get ready to treat those tastebuds!
The first time I tasted this dish I absolutely adored it. The perfect balance between sweet and savory makes it irresistible not to go back. It’s the sensation you feel that makes you want to order more (which I did instantly).
The egg on top of the dish is exactly the cherry on top of the cake. It adds up all the juices together and gives it all that extra bit of taste flowing throughout your mouth. The best part of Thai dishes is that you find them at the food markets and at all kinds of restaurants, therefore, you will taste the deliciousness in more ways than one. You will definitely not regret it!
Now, Panang Gai (also known as Thai chicken Panang curry) is my absolute favorite. The next time I travel to Bangkok, I’m hopping off the plane and putting it straight into my mouth. Although you can add beef, pork, liver, and fish to this dish, I personally recommend the chicken the most. The name “panang chicken” comes from the city of Panang in Malaysia, where the dish originally came from, with combinations of Myanmar and Indian flavors.
If you’re a fan of a blend of Asian foods in general, then you’re in for a treat. This dish is simply my favorite due to the mixture of the Thai curry paste and coconut milk, and it is the perfect bliss between both spicy and sour. It will leave your mouth salivating for an extra plate, I know that because I kept returning to that one restaurant to get my weekly dose of delish.
Similar to the dish above, you can alter the spice levels by either cooking it yourself or requesting it at a restaurant. Either way, I would definitely recommend trying this dish out once you get to the chaotic city that is Bangkok.
Bha Mhee Moo Daeng
Last but not least, is Bha Mhee Moo Daeng (egg noodle with roasted pork soup). I picked this as one of the top dishes to try when visiting Bangkok because it is such a simple dish yet it is one of the tastiest soups I’ve ever had in my life.
Noodle Monday was my favorite part of the day throughout the duration of my time working at the school. It was an open buffet and I can assure you the kitchen lady was not happy when I came up for seconds (ok, fifths).
The soup includes egg noodles, roasted pork, pork mince, and pork balls that are garnished with vegetables. There are options to order this with or without soup, but I prefer it with the soup and with extra pork balls and pork mince ( you can say I’m a bit obsessed).
This soup can either be extremely fulfilling, given the amount of noodles you choose to add, or it could be a quick meal throughout your day which will equally satisfy and quieten the rumbling in your belly.
If you’re a meat-lover like me, this meaty broth along with the perfect mix of roasted pork will not disappoint you. It’ll go down like a treat and I would, without a doubt, assume you’d be annoying that kitchen lady too.
Get those passports and bellies ready!