A colourful, in-depth guide to street food, by Bangkok based food writer, Chawadee Naulkhair – an absolute must for any food lovers visiting Thailand.
Thailand’s Best Street Food – What’s inside
In Thailand there’s no doubt that there is a bewildering array of street food available. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, with no idea what to order (and most probably not being sure of what you are going to get once you have ordered). This book is designed to help you overcome just such dilemmas.
A section at the start includes some interesting background notes followed by photographs and descriptions of some the more common dishes you are likely to encounter. Then it really gets down to business….
Each region of Thailand is introduced and the best street food districts are highlighted. This is followed by a whole page dedicated to each and every one of the featured street-side carts, stalls and shops from that area. In the provinces, Chawadee has focused on regional specialities to show the diversity that is available, while in Bangkok, she has focused on her favourite food, in areas she knows well, admitting that she has not, as yet, been able to cover every region. She sees her book as a work in progress.
With each listing you’ll find details of how to find the vendor, what they specialise in, any notable extras, what drinks are available, whether there is seating and whether there is a restroom and even what type it is (western or squat) right down to whether or not it provides toilet paper. I wish I had a book like this for every place I visit. It would be invaluable.
There is also a very useful street map for each district showing the location of every stall. Perfect!
What I loved most
The description of the stalls and their tempting offerings fascinate me. From the deep-fried banana vendor, with a secret batter recipe, that can found by a particular set of traffic lights in Cha-am…. or the Phuket dim sum seller whose stall has no name, but is simply known as ‘the dim sum place near the hospital’…. to Bamee Soi 38 in Sukhumvit, selling buttery egg noodles and tender pork dumplings…. and the mobile vendor who sells the best mango sticky rice in Bangkok – every stall or vendor I read about had my taste buds crying out in expectation. I need to go to Thailand right now. Sadly, for the time being, my taste buds and tummy remain unsatiated.
There are, however, twelve very tempting recipes dotted throughout the book, which all sound delicious. Sadly the excessively long list of ingredients for some of them, I would imagine, will put off all but the most determined cooks from trying them out. I take this though as a sign of the recipes authenticity, making the effort of preparing them correctly, thoroughly worth it.
One recipe that jumped out as a fairly simple, must try, was the grilled scallops with pork, butter and garlic. It had my mouth-watering profusely as I read the instructions and has again now just thinking about it. Time to try this out, methinks.
Buy Thailand’s Best Street Food on Amazon
Published by Tuttle who offer a fabulous range of Asian interest books.
Introducing the author, Chawadee Naulkhair
Food writer, Chawadee Naulkhair, blogs at Bangkok Glutton (check it out). She is a Thai-American from Pittsburgh who is now married with two kids and living in Bangkok. She has spent some 20 years exploring the streets of Thailand, in search of the very best street-side dining. Chawadee’s passion for food, as well as her sense of humour, shines through in is this video about her favourite food…
Disclaimer: Thanks to Tuttle for sending me a complimentary copy of this book to review. Please note that the link to the book, Thailand’s Best Street Food, is an affiliate link so that if you purchase it via this link I will receive a few pennies to go towards another book to review. As always, I will only share with you my own, honest opinions.