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Bangkok - Street Food - Simply Red

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March 14, 2010 – Demonstration Kitchens

Following my (much) older posting regarding how to cater a coup (back in 2006), and other notes on times of troubles, I figured, with time on my hands, I should see what the eating options are for a major demonstration.

A lot of people are rather tense about things just now, but I try to look on the brighter side.

For instance, the UDD (Red Shirt rally) on Rachadamnoern by Government House.


I’d expected good street food, and I wasn’t disappointed. First up was dried meat hanging on the wire, ready for a heating over the charcoal.


The fixings were around for som tam, but, other than a bowl in someone’s hands, I didn’t spot any.


Really, all you need for catering is a can of buta gas, a pickup truck, and a jet burner. Add a wok and a stirring spoon, and you’re in business.


With that, and just a supply of fresh vegetables, you’re off and away.

With a support base heavy in the North East, grilled chicken was prevalent on the street. And it looked really good.


Laid open for the marinade to penetrate, this was just going over from a colour reminiscent of me to a deep gold.


Looking at this was making me thirsty. Okay, standing around in the street in 30+ centigrade weather may have played a part, too. Someday I’ll discover hat technology.


But that just gives one an excuse to have cold Thai coffee, strained through evaporated milk.


(Note, Carnation comes in red cans)


Omelets were another popular option.

Thai omelets, served with nampla sesame, and lots and lots of chili peppers.


Fruit is the healthiest choice, with fresh mango being peeled up.


And one cart had pomelo (som o) cleaned and packaged to take away. Sweeter than grapefruit, with a definition to the pieces that I love.


Of course there’ll be things on sticks. Fish balls, Isaan sausages, wieners (why does the world love the hot dog so), and more stuff that’s been pounded down and reshaped.


Thai fruit juices, garnished with fresh greens, range from lemonades to coconut to lime, served from these family sized containers of ice.


Serving stands vary from the basics that I’d shown before, to sleek stainless models attached to motorcycles.


Street food, in the true sense of the words.


Peanuts are always good for sitting around and listening to the speeches, and gingko nuts are good for your memory, so you might remember what they said.


And then there’s laab, marinated meat (cooked, in this case).


As I write this, its still not clear how things will work out here.


But, at least this afternoon, the focus seemed to be much more on just hanging out, snacking, and visiting with friends. And the Thai are very good at snacking.


Leaving the demonstration proper, past the barricades, there was even more food packed into the nearby streets. Beautiful plump sausages called out to me.


And the last thing, as I headed to Wat Sakhet to observe from above, was fresh corn on the charcoal.

So, in a rather rushed manner, there’s a sampling of what’s to eat on Rachadamnoern today.

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So, Peter, are you stirring up trouble in Thailand again? I’m not much of a revolutionary, but I would consider becoming one for the food alone. Who are we demonstrating against, and where do I sign up? :wink:

You showed the golden-grilled chicken and mentioned the North East, and I immediately began getting sharp larb cravings. Thank you for satisfying those cravings, pictorially anyway.

Your photo and written essays are always appreciated. Thanks!

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Ah Peter, it all looks so revolutionary!

Well, I should have been airborne 14 hours ago en route to BKK, but due to weather issues here in NYC, my flight was delayed by 26.5 hours . . . so, I'm currently scheduled to leave tonight and assuming my plane actually takes off, I'll be headed for that Thai coffee upon landing!

I'll watch for you--dressed in red, no doubt. Thanks for the great pics and commentary.

Ellen Shapiro


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Peter, thank you! It always brightens my day to see a new "foodblog" from you. You must know that many of us travel vicariously through your posts! Awesome!


I whistfully mentioned how I missed sushi. Truly horrified, she told me "you city folk eat the strangest things!", and offered me a freshly fried chitterling!

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There is no don't that I am a big fan of street eats, but I prefer mine to be a bit less mobile.

Impromptu eats, such as these, may lack the organization that more established carts have. Their facilities may not just be lacking, but totally non-existent.

I prefer more "established" carts, where the vendor has garnered a reputation, and although possibly hidden, usually has some some hygiene standards.


There's something of interest in the second photo:


It shows the frugality of some Thai people. Notice the recyclable container labeled "Pop Oil"? Now, recycled oil might be a good alternative energy source, but it's use in cooking - a relatively common Thai cart practice - has been questioned.

I don't even want to know what might be in the green container!

Edited by Stupid_American (log)

For Bangkok eats, check out my Cheap Eats Bangkok

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No disagreements, SA. But I did want to catch the moment, as it was (or "were"?)

Perhaps soi Polo tonight, which is quite a bit more settled. One foodie benefit to all this trouble is that traffic is lighter than I've seen it for decades, and so I can get to most anywhere in minutes.


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