Food in Bangkok, Thailand is incredibly diverse and just as tantalisingly tasty. Bangkok, as the largest city and the capital, encompasses a great number of cultures and cuisines. Thai food is known for spice and seafood; however, they take influences from many other places, too. There is a lot that makes Thai food so special worldwide, so let’s see what dances on the taste buds when we try Bangkok’s cuisine.
There is a number of influencers that have encouraged the cuisine in Bangkok (and other parts of Thailand). The south of China has been a big influence in Bangkok, bringing with them an array of noodles and the use of the wok. When Muslims came to Thailand in the 14th century, they brought with them many meat dishes. They also brought with them dried-spice-based dishes. The royals have brought the influence of refinement and class to Bangkok cuisine, too.
Food in Bangkok is often very spicy and pungent in its aroma. Bangkok’s cuisine involves a delicate hand and attention to detail. Texture, taste and colour come together to form the special dishes. Due to being located near the sea, Bangkok’s cuisine is rich in seafood. Other key ingredients are pork, fresh fish, palm sugar and coconut milk.
There is no one cuisine in Bangkok, due to Thailand’s cultural diversity. There is thought to be over 40 ethnic groups in Thailand, and therefore each of these groups have brought with them their own cultures that then influences the food. Thai people often prefer to use fresh spices and herbs over dried ones. Chicken and pork are the most common meats, except for with the Muslim Thais who favour mutton and goat. Very popular and common flavourings include: garlic, coriander, galangal, cilantro, lemon grass, pepper, fish sauce, kaffir lime leaves, chillies, shallots, and shrimp paste. Shellfish and crustaceans are also key in Bangkok’s cuisine.
It is the stalls that you will not want to miss, as Thai street food is profound. They have many markets, including a floating market on the river for you to explore and find fresh ingredients, too. There’s so many dishes that you will love in Bangkok, but we can’t name them all. Here is a few that you must try, though…
Gooay Teeo Reua (Boat Noodles)
slow-cooked broth, with meats, herbs, and dried spice.
Khanom Buang (Thai Crepe)
another great street food item is this snack; characterised as crispy and sweet. They are similar to tacos, the outer shell made from rice flour, pigeon pea flour, egg yolks, salt and palm sugar. Inside is coconut cream, shredded coconut and chopped scallions.
Hoy Tod (Oyster Omelette)
oysters, eggs, green onions, chili, coriander, and a starch solution.
Khao Pad (Fried Rice)
prepared with jasmine rice, long-grain, with meat – shrimp, crab, chicken – along with egg, Chinese broccoli, onions, and garlic.
Pla Pao (Grilled Fish)
barbecued fish, frequently served with lime-based chili sauce. Common grilled fish are pla nin (tilapia), pla duk dam (catfish) and pla duk yan (snakehead fish).
Gai/Moo Bing (Grilled Chicken/ Pork Skewers)
threaded through a bamboo skewer, served with a dipping sauce (like dried chili dipping sauce). They are slightly spicy with cilantro, garlic, and peppercorn. They are also grilled in coconut milk to preserve the flavouring.
Tom Yum/Yam (Shrimp Soup)
a sour soup made from kaffir lime leaf, lime juice, and lemongrass.
Hor Mok Pla (Thai Curry Fish Custard)
shredded Thai cabbage or basil, chunks of fish, curried fish custard, coconut cream and topped with red peppers and kaffir lime leaves. Spices include, lemongrass, chili, galangal, garlic, lime leaves, coriander, shrimp paste and some fish, blended into a mousse texture.
Sai Krok Isaan (Sour Isaan Sausage)
a sour sausage with sticky rice (sometimes noodles or vermicelli instead) inside, alongside salt and garlic. Eat with fresh cabbage, raw chilies and ginger to help reduce the garlic breath.
Pad Tai Kung (Noodles with Shrimp)
most popular dish prepared from fresh or dried shrimp, tofu, bean sprouts, seasonings, and egg. It is stir-fried with noodles. Sometimes served with a lime wedge and chopped roasted peanuts.
Som Tam (Papaya Salad)
shredded unripe green papayas’ garlic, shrimp, tomatoes, fish sauce, palm sugar and chili peppers.
Khao Mun Gai (Steamed Chicken on Rice)
tender, juicy pieces of capon meat on aromatic jasmine rice cooked in a broth with a sauce made from garlic, ginger and chili. Cucumber and cilantro leaves accompany it.
Pad Krapao Moo (Stir-fried Pork with Holy Basil)
can be stir-fried chicken, squid, or tofu instead, too. Includes the peppery holy basil, thin strips of meat, ground meat, oyster sauce, soy sauce and some palm sugar.
If you enjoy seafood, spice and an aroma that’s to die for, then you will greatly enjoy Thai cuisine in Bangkok.
Bangkok food is varied and popular, encompassing many cultures and all with fantastic taste.