This post is just an example of what most locals eat . I know I can’t cover everything but I just wanted to give you an idea what we (Thai) normally eat and it is easy to find. After reading it, I hope you can decide what dish you want to try. 🙂
1. E-Sarn food (North Eastern food); it is a common food, not just in Bangkok but in Thailand. It has many dishes to try and it is all delicious. You eat it with sticky rice (Kao Niew/ข้าวเหนียว) and vegetables such as long green bean, cabbage, Thai basil etc. A lot of people eat it everyday because it is not expensive. This is what I always order when I eat E-Sarn food.
2. Grilled Salt fish/ปลาเผาเกลือ; they cake the fish with salt and stuff it with lemongrass and other herbs.
3. Gai Tod Kratiem/ไก่ทอดกระเทียม or Deep fried chicken with garlic. You can eat it with sticky rice.
4. Moo Satay or Pork Satay/หมูสะเต๊ะ; we dip it in 2 sauces. The first sauce is peanut sauce and the second sauce is vinegar sauce (it has cucumber, shallots, and chillies). Satay goes well with toast too.
5. Kao Khai Jiao/ข้าวไข่เจียว or Rice with Thai omelet. You can request to put any vegetables that you want such as green onion, carrots, and tomatoes or even ground pork into the omelet. By the way, steamed rice is under the omelet. 🙂
6. Kao Moo Daeng and Moo Krob/ข้าวหมูแดงหมูกรอบ; Moo Daeng/หมูแดง is red barbecued pork and Moo Krob/หมูกรอบ is crispy pork belly. It serves with half of boiled egg, Chinese sausage( Kun Chieng), green onion, and cucumber (some restaurant will have dried chili, try it if you can eat very spicy). You eat it with 2 sauces which is brown sauce and black sauce. The brown sauce is a bit sweet ( the sauce in each restaurant might be different. It depends on their recipe.) The black sauce is a bit salty. The green pieces that you see in the black sauce is green pepper. Normally, they will pour red sauce on top of Moo Daeng and Moo Krob. By the way, you can order only Moo Daeng or only Moo Krob but for me, I like both 🙂
7. Kao Man Kai/ข้าวมันไก่; You might think it is such a boring dish because it is boiled chicken with hot soup but try it with the sauce that comes with the dish. The sauce is made from bean paste, ginger, garlic, chili etc.
8. Kao Moo Tod Kratiem Prikthai/ข้าวหมูทอดกระเทียมพริกไทย or Rice with fried pork and garlic & pepper
9. Kao Na Ped/ข้าวหน้าเป็ด or grilled duck with rice. They will cut the meat into small pieces and put it on top of the rice and pour the sauce on top of the meat. It is served with cucumber and pickled ginger.
10. Kao Pad Goong/ข้าวผัดกุ้ง or Fried rice with shrimp (you can also order it with pork, chicken or without any meat.)
11. Kao Kra Paw moosub with kai dao/ข้าวกระเพราหมูสับไข่ดาว or Rice with stir fried ground pork with holy basil. Most Thai will eat it with fried egg or Thai omelet.
12. Kuay Tiew Moo/ก๋วยเตี๋ยวหมู; when you order, you have to tell them what kind of noodle you want for your dish. In this photo, it is “Sen Yai hang/เส้นใหญ่แห้ง”. Sen Yai/เส้นใหญ่ means white thick noodle and Hang/แห้ง means dry (without soup). It has thick noodle (sen yai/เส้นใหญ่) with ground pork, fish ball, wanton, green onions and bean sprouts.
13. Kuay Tiew reuw/ก๋วยเตี๋ยวเรือ or boat noodle; it is another type of noodle that you can order with or without soup. The type of noodle in this photo is “sen mee/เส้นหมี่”. You can see the color of the soup is brown and it has morning glory and bean sprouts. Most food vendors will provide the crispy pork skin that you see but it is in a package on the table and it is an option. You have to pay extra for it.
14. Kuay Tiew Gai/ก๋วยเตี๋ยวไก่; it is another kind of noodle dish in Thailand. The type of noodle in this photo is Sen Lek/เส้นเล็ก. The soup color is brown and it has many pieces of chicken meat, bean sprout, blood, and a bit of green onion. You can order it with or without soup too. In this photo is Sen Lek Nam/เส้นเล็กนำ้ (Nam means water, so they will put soup in your bowl).
15. Bamee yen ta fo/บะหมี่เย็นตาโฟ; Egg noodle with many kinds of fish balls, morning glory, jellyfish, and blood. The color of the soup is a bit red because of the red tofu sauce that is mixed with soup. You can eat without soup too. By the way, we called egg noodles Bamee/บะหมี่.
16. Kra Por Pla/กระเพาะปลา or Fish Maw Soup; it has bamboo shoots, blood (the black piece), fish maw, egg, chicken, and mushroom.
17. Pad Thai/ผัดไทย; I can’t miss this famous dish. You can find it at street food vendors or even at a hotel. You can order it with or without shrimp. I just want to make it clear that not every street food vendor will give you this big size of shrimp.
18. Pad sew eew/ผัดซีอิ๊ว; it is a normal and easy dish that you can find. In this photo is Sen Yai/เส้นใหญ่ (thick noodle) with Chinese kale, egg, shrimp (rarely with mushroom.) You can order it with other kind of noodle such as Sen Mee/เส้นหมี่ or Sen Lek/เส้นเล็ก. Also, you can order it with pork, chicken or seafood.
19. Kuay Tiew Rad Naa/ก๋วยเตี๋ยวราดหน้า; most locals will order Sen Mee/เส้นหมี่ or Sen Yai/เส้นใหญ่ with this dish. It has kale, pork, and bean paste. The sticky liquid is a bit sweet and salty. You can order it with pork,chicken or seafood.
20. Tom Yum Goong/ต้มยำกุ้ง or Thai hot & sour spicy soup; it is another MUST TRY dish if you are in Thailand.The taste is exactly like I said “hot, sour, and spicy.” The secret of this dish is Kaffir Lime leaf. You can order it like a clear soup too but I recommend you try it like this photo. Some recipes use evaporated milk but some will use coconut milk.
21. Moo ping with kao niew/หมูปิ้งกับข้าวเหนียว or grilled pork with sticky rice. You can find this in the early morning because we eat it as a breakfast.
22. Nam Prik Kapi with Pla tuu/นำ้พริกกะปิกับปลาทู; Nam Prik Kapi/นำ้พริกกะปิ is a Thai chili paste that is made from shrimp paste. Pla tuu/ปลาทู is mackerel fish. We eat it with boiled vegetables that you see from my photo and of course rice.
23. Kanom cheen/ขนมจีน; Kanom Cheen is the white noodle and you eat it with many kinds of curry such as namprik/นำ้พริก, namya/นำ้ยา, kangpa/แกงป่า or green curry/แกงเขียวหวาน. Almost every vendors will also provided bean sprout, cucumber, basil etc. to eat with Kanom Cheen.
24. Kao Yum/ข้าวยำ; it is not easy to find but I want to include it because it is a famous southern food. I found them at a local market, near Piyarom sport club (Udomsuk skytrain station) on Thursday after 5 pm.
25. Pa Thong Go & Salapao/ปาท่องโก๋ ซาลาเปา . The round one is Salapao/ซาลาเปา and it is sweet. The other one is Pa tong Go/ปาท่องโก๋, a bit salty. You can find it in the early morning. We eat it with coffee as a breakfast.
26. Kluay Tord/กล้วยทอด; Fried banana.
27. Mango and sticky rice/ข้าวเหนียวมะม่วง; MUST try! The mango is supposed to be sweet and you eat it with sweet sticky rice. They will put coconut sauce on top of the sticky rice. By the way, the sticky rice that you eat with mango is different from the sticky rice that you eat with Somtum.
28. Thai fruits; you can find many Thai fruits on the cart or even at a lunchtime market. You can find those markets in the office areas such as Silom, Chidlom, Wireless Road etc. A good example of a lunchtime market is soi Lalaisub/ซอยละลายทรัพย์, near Bangkok Bank on Silom Road. The market will start about 10:30 am – 2 pm.
29. Nam Tao Hu/นำ้เต้าหู้ or Soy Bean Milk. You can choose to put Job’s Tears (a type of grain), red bean etc. into the soy bean milk.
30. Fresh Fruit juice; You can choose mango, coconut, strawberry, watermelon etc. It depends on the season too but this is what I like!
31. Thai Tea/Coffee; you can find Thai coffee and tea on the street. It’s not like the coffee franchises but it is traditional. You won’t see an expensive coffee maker but you will see an easy way to make coffee and tea. They use just a cloth filter. Our drinks are pretty sweet. Tell them to put less sugar(namtarn/นำ้ ตาล) if you don’t like sweet!
You will also see a lot of precooked Thai food.You choose what you want to eat. You can order more than 1 item and they will put it on rice. The price depends on how many items you order. For my dish, I ordered 3 types of food in one dish, it was about 45-55 baht.