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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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(Note, Carnation comes in red cans)

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Omelets were another popular option.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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Street food, in the true sense of the words.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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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

www.byellen.com

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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!

Brenda

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:

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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.

Cheers!

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