Thai Food – My Personal Preference

Thai food restaurant - mom and daughter eating som tam and grilled chicken (gai yang).
Som Tam and Gai Yang!

I have been living in Thailand for 7.5 years 10.5 years now. I’ve had Thai food each and every day. I could not be happier with the selection of Thai foods here in the country, I couldn’t have imagined I’d make the adjustment to eating it so easily. Initially when I arrived I thought I craved McDonald’s or pizza, Subway, a lot. I’d have it about every other day. For the last maybe 8 years though, I’ve not had many cravings for western food. At least not as much as some of my expat friends that seem to need it to survive.

Recently – the last two years, this has changed a bit and I’ve been having mad cravings for things I didn’t eat much of back in the states – like Kit Kat chocolate bars, Doritoes, and potato chips!

The food in Thailand is so varied. Though I usually eat the following meals – there are hundreds of dishes to choose from:

Gwit Diao Moo (Gai, Talay, Tom Yum) – a noodle soup, typical staple food for Thais – especially at lunch when they want something filling and cheap. Students can be found overflowing the gwit diao street stands at lunch in the northeast and all over the country.

Khao Pad Gai (Moo, Talay) – fried rice with chicken or anything else you want. I sometimes get it “Kai Dao” with a fried egg on the top, depending what that shop’s idea of a fried egg means. It’s variable.

Gai Pad King – ginger chicken and usually with some red peppers and maybe some other vegetables, depending on the restaurant or food stand.

Som Tam with Sticky Rice and Chicken – one of my favorite meals for sure. Som Tam Laos style with bla-rah – fermented fish or boo-bla rah – with fermented crab pieces.

Bamboo Lahp – I forget the name because Joy always orders it for me, I never have to say it… lol.

Lahp Gai (Moo, Talay, Neu-uh) – a very spicy and awesome tasting dish eaten with sticky rice and usually som tam too.

Pad Thai – though I don’t eat it much, if the restaurant makes it well – this can be an absolute favorite Thai food to eat. There are plenty of restaurants that make it too greasy, too runny (wet), and without the right vegetables or even the right ingredients at all. I found the pad thai in the northeastern part of Thailand to be the best (as with most foods).

That’s really about it. Oh, one more…

Kow Men Gai – in the morning this is a great dish, if they use good rice. It’s sliced chicken breast on top of rice, with a sauce that has a lot of flavor – usually with ginger in it and not sure what else… vinegar? Awesome breakfast because the rice fills you up and it’s served with a very small cup of broth from the gwit diao soup, so you get both with your meal. Order just gwit diao and you don’t get rice and chicken samplers on the side.

The above are what I eat on a daily / weekly basis… Of course I didn’t talk about all the fruits I eat daily – like rambutan (in season now (may-august)), sweet tangerines, bananas (3 types I love), watermelon, dragon fruit (just coming into season again!), etc…

There are so many amazing things to eat here that I don’t usually get bored. When I do get a craving for something from the west it is usually in the form of Italian or French bread. The grocery stores here have a deli section and they do make bread. It isn’t great, but it’s all I have.

Alternatively I go get a pizza. There are many expats from Italy in Thailand -and they open lots of pizza shops. It’s hard to beat Italian made pizza!

Thai foods are so variable – it is not often I tire if it. Probably this is the best place in the world to live for eating local food. Food in Thailand seems healthier than in the USA. The availability of Thai fruit everywhere one turns – is a big plus.

This post written by Vern – Joy’s hubby.

American & Western Food Supermarkets in Thailand?

makro

Makro site for UK (makro.co.uk)

Yes. Sort of. There’s not a whole supermarket of western food unless you’re in Bangkok.

In Thailand cities of any size at all you’re also going to find a large warehouse style store that is like a Sam’s Club. They sell in bulk to businesses but also allow individuals to roll through and buy a handful of items.

The name of this store is “Makro”. They’re always located outside city-center. Thai’s pronounce it Makro – like mahhkro – long o.

We go often because it’s a little bit cheaper to buy in bulk and the best reason is because they have a large selection (for Thialand) of American and other western food products.

What you can find in Thailand Makro stores:

  • 5 types of muesli cereal – there’s some from Switzerland, Germany and other places. Corn flakes and other Kellogg’s products. Great stuff and I eat this every morning with vegetarian soy milk – also found here in 300mm boxes (20 to a box I think it is).
  • Spaghetti and other pastas. All types. A few brands. They have spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce and sometimes you’ll even find taco shells close by this section.
  • milk, eggs, butter, yoghurt, margarine, cheese from all over the world – mostly Belgium. Mozzarella, Parmesian, Cheddar, Swiss, are the ones I remember. I think I’ve seen some blue cheese as well.
  • On occasion there are “Doritoes” and some cheesy flavored, vinegar flavored potato chips.
  • Olive oil – many brands.
  • Coffee. Thailand is weak in the coffee area. There are lots of instant coffees and few ground coffees.
  • Breads & Desserts section. About 5 types of bread – white, rye, pumpernickel and some other creations – really heavy breads.
  • Fish section, Fruits & Veggies section… really, just like Sams.
  • Electronics section. Household goods section. Chairs, tables, Alcohol section – better than Tesco or Big C’s Alcohol selections.
  • There are many American products – and I’m not able to remember even a fraction of them. One side of an isle is dedicated to western foods, so if you’re in Thailand and want to buy a lot of stuff to eat while you’re here this is the place.

You need a number when you checkout. At least they’ll ask for it. So far when I’ve told them – Mai mee (not have) – they punch some generic code in. They do give Joy a dirty look if she doesn’t have a card and she’s by herself. lol.

So, don’t fear… Western Food IS HERE in Thailand if you have a Makro close by. You’ll be loving life too the bread section is not at all bad…

(Vern wrote this one)

Thai Food E-Books!

Sawasdee Ka!

Revising Joy’s Ebooks now – ready in a few weeks!

If you don’t know what an e-book is, it’s simply a Word file with photos and nice formatting converted into an Adobe PDF format that you can read on your computer, PDA, phone, or maybe even your watch. It makes the files easy to read on electronic readers too – you may have heard about Microsoft’s and Amazon’s new readers. They are e-book readers designed specially for reading e-books.

We are giving away a sample PDF file of the first 11 pages of Joy’s Thai Food Recipe eBook below.

Joy’s Thai Food Recipe E-book Sample, 11 pages, fully illustrated, fully FREE! This is to give you an idea what you’re getting.

Please check back in a few weeks to see if we’re offering Joy’s latest two updated Thai Food Ebooks at that time!

Thank you!

Sawasdee ka, joy