Bangkok street food

Sep 17th, 2009, 09:43 PM
  #1  
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Bangkok street food

Come on, you know you really want to try it! Go ahead and take the plunge: http://tinyurl.com/l2c9w3
kerouac is online now  
Sep 17th, 2009, 11:02 PM
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I can almost smell it! Yum!
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Sep 18th, 2009, 02:32 AM
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I went to Bangkok intending to try street food, but couldn't see how the vendors with little carts and no water could possibly produce hygienic food, especially anything on a plate eaten with a spoon. I am generally adventurous, but didn't feel the risk was worth taking, even though I loved Thai food. What rules do other travellers apply?
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Sep 18th, 2009, 02:48 AM
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Look for very busy stalls with a high turnover and high proportion of locals eating. Look for food that is cooked in front of you and served immediately. I tend to avoid seafood in cities away from the sea.
I have very rarely experienced problems eating street food anywhere around the world. I wish the same could be said of 5* hotels where I have been taken very ill (usually with seafood). At least you can see what is going on on the street whereas the same cannot be said of the kitchens in most hotels. As a student, I worked in a number of hotel kitchens and believe me, you really wouldn't like to know what goes on in some of them!
IMHO the best and most authentic thai food is to be found on the streets and in small hole in the wall type restaurants although I feel others are certain to disagree.
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Sep 18th, 2009, 03:39 AM
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We never eat in hotels. First, the "Down and Out in Paris and London" factor, second, the food is usually mediocre, and third, the other diners are the type of people who eat in hotels. On the other hand, I have been very very sick after street food in Mexico.
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Sep 18th, 2009, 04:12 AM
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Crellston, I completely agree with you -- I like to see what they are doing and how they do it. Often the minor details, like how they wipe their implements or the way they scrape the grill are good indicators of how they treat all of the other ingredients of their commerce.
kerouac is online now  
Sep 18th, 2009, 04:46 AM
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If you want to get food poisoning in Bkk, a good way is to eat at a lot of hotel western buffets.

If you apply normally held Western concepts of "hygiene" to the way food is handled especially with street food, not only will you get the wrong end of the stick about it, you will also lose out on eating some of the best food in Thailand.
What you really have to do is think how you actually get food poisoning.
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Sep 18th, 2009, 05:47 AM
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Hotel buffets are off our list , even here at home. Bob once saw chicken sitting out in the heat and sun outside the Shangri-la in BKK for about an hour. Five star is no garuntee for food safty. There is better food to be had at the small local resturants. We tend to avoid street food for the reasons stated above. If you are on vacation for a limited number of days, the inside of a toilet bowl is NOT the scenic view you came for. As always, commonsence prevails.
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Sep 18th, 2009, 05:52 AM
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the thing that continues to bother me is where is the refridgeration of this food (mostly the raw meats) while it is sitting outside in 85 degree weather for long periods...
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Sep 18th, 2009, 06:01 AM
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Stay away from Som Tum on the street or any markets. The regular stuff can get contaminated with raw crab- mess you up!!
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Sep 18th, 2009, 06:33 AM
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the thing that continues to bother me is where is the refridgeration of this food (mostly the raw meats) while it is sitting outside in 85 degree weather for long periods...

It would have to be covered with bacteria to begin with for that to be a problem. And even if filthy flies have been walking all over it, don't forget that one of the things that cooking does is to sterilize things.

Nevertheless, I know that there is no way to reassure people who are afraid to eat this food. It can be perfectly good, but if you are afraid that you will get sick from eating it, YOU WILL GET SICK. I have seen this time and time again, the power of psychosomatics, not just in Bangkok, but everywhere in the world. I have known one or two people whom, if you say 'did I see a trace of pink in that pork?' (or chicken) will vomit for the entire night, even if 50 other people ate the same food with no ill effects.

So if you are afraid of it and cannot open your mind to the idea that maybe it might be all right, yes you must avoid it and eat exclusively authorized insipid items instead.
kerouac is online now  
Sep 18th, 2009, 06:52 AM
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Haha, Kerouac. I remember seeing some imbecilic lady freaking out because she thought the the tofu in her pad thai was pork, despite multiple assurances from the staff.
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Sep 18th, 2009, 09:42 AM
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I love food stalls in Yawarat at nite.
My favors are shark fins soup chiu chow style, fish maw, salt fish in tin foil, barbeque jumbo shrimps, crabs, a bowl of birds nest soup as dessert.
Buy a durian at the street corner and finish it before going back to the hotel.
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Sep 18th, 2009, 10:58 AM
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I confess that although I had eaten durian ice cream before, I had never actually eaten a durian, although I was very much familiar with how they look and of course their, errr, special aroma.

But one day when I was returning to my hotel in Phnom Penh, all of the staff were sprawled in the lobby having a durian party. Just the way they were sprawled, made me remember two things that I had read about durians:

1. Men prefer eating a durian to having sex.
2. If a house catches on fire, the residents will not leave unless they have finished eating the durian.

Anyway, they offered me several pieces, and I ate them. OMG! I had never tasted anything like it, although I don't think it would be appropriate to post my description of the flavor here, because it would contain some references that are not acceptable to all readers.
kerouac is online now  
Sep 18th, 2009, 11:02 AM
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enjoy your fly eggs and meats that are starting to turn from 80+ degree heat
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Sep 18th, 2009, 11:53 AM
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Ha, didn't you have any biology classes in school? Do you think that fly eggs hatch in 30 minutes?

(Not that I would care, since they would be cooked.)
kerouac is online now  
Sep 18th, 2009, 02:34 PM
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i did not in fact have biology... but in that heat lots could hatch quickly...

my main point is that if you are on vacation you don't want to be laid up with stomach problems for even 5 minutes...time is too valuable...

you eat and enjoy and i will refrain and continue to not eat street food and in 12 trips to bkk i have never been ill at all but have managed to have fantastic tasting food...
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Sep 18th, 2009, 03:38 PM
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Cat1234- Why not avoid Thailand completely and just go straight to China?
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Sep 18th, 2009, 03:45 PM
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Thailand and street food are synonymous, absolutely inseparable.

Thailand and hygiene are synonymous, absolutely inseparable. I’ve never seen people scrub so hard and so much. http://www.flickr.com/photos/traveltv/3932930930/

My memories of Thailand’s hygiene goes back to 1977, and being amazed watching the street vendors scrubbing the #$%& out of the pots alongside the curbs.


Ask us and we'd say, "Why go to Thailand if not for the street food".

What? You think we go there for the 90F plus life threatening heat? We tolerate the heat to get to the food, the street food.

OK, I'm overstating (actually, NOT one itsy bit) but think about it, the ubiquitous street food in Thailand is not exactly "cheap".

If you consider 10-15 Bhat for ONE delicious marinated pork satay (you have to buy two or more) and then sticky rice or 25 Bhat for Som tam then… beginning to get the idea? You could easily end up spending more than one "local" restaurant dish (noodles not included).

Remember Anthony Bourdain and the Muay Thai chicken? Street food’s got huge "cred".

If this Som Tam handle is any reference, this lady been working the street for a while and this small plate was 25 Bhat. http://www.flickr.com/photos/traveltv/3907887685/



And the street food market is somewhat complex. If the price for a pork satay is 5 Bhat, it will be smaller and not marinated and people understand that.

And what about the “street food restaurants”?

Indoor restaurants that have seating and thankfully, fans, but prepare, cook and sell the food as if they were working out of a cart?

I've often wondered how the meat can sit in the hot sun during the day, probably a scientist can explain it, because it works and sure tastes good.

Waters easy, they lug it around in huge tubs or cut deals with people in the area.
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Sep 18th, 2009, 04:56 PM
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Mango7, Different strokes 4 different folks, what's wrong with it? what's wrong with you?
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