A friend of mine once had a friend call thai food “thigh food” – she didn’t realise the H was silent. Now we always call it that as a joke.
The food in Thailand was amazing. I mean, we all know that thai food is delicious, but it was delicious EVERYWHERE – from a fancy restaurant, from a cart on the street, at the bus station, in the mall. Actually, the only place that it was less than stellar was at the beach, but that’s a universal truth – the food is always worse at the beach.
My first day in Bangkok, I took a cooking class at Silom Thai Cooking School. I really enjoyed it – the instructor was funny, the set-up was easy, and the dishes were awesome.
We made tom yum goong, green curry, pad thai, chicken salad, and a crazy dessert that consisted of tapioca-jellied turnip dyed with fanta and served in sweetened condensed coconut milk – it was interesting, at least.
Once Eric met up with me the next day, we continued to eat well. We enjoyed delicious thai iced coffee and pad thai at Chatachuk Market – if you’ve never had it, it’s similar to Vietnamese iced coffee – espresso and milk served over ice with sweetened condensed milk.
From there, we used on a few rules of thumb for eating at street carts, and they served us well – it had to be busy with thai people, and they had to be cooking the food (or cutting it, in the case of fruit) right then – that way we weren’t eating anything that had been sitting out in the heat.
Pad see uw, fried morning glory (a leafy green similar to chard), khao soi, mango with sticky rice… the variety of ways that the same dish could be served from cart to cart (or city to city) was surprising, but they were all good. The best pad thai I found was outside the bus station in Kanchanaburi, cooked by a woman in a wok that she could have easily fit into. Green curry varied from a soupy broth served with rice to a thick paste served over noodles – both were delicious!
While Thailand wasn’t my favourite trip ever (too hot!), it was definitely the place where I ate the best. If I ever go back (and I’d like to, so that I can go north and see the mountains) I’ll be sure to take another cooking class – it was a great way to get an overview of some popular dishes and pick up some new techniques. I even got a recipe book, and luckily I’m not sick of thai food – I can’t wait to try some of them!