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Loei Market Vendor (Wednesday Photo)

Michael Babcock, Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

NE-Style Crispy Grilled Sticky Rice

Loei Market Vendor

Yummy grilled sticky rice in Loei

This picture of a smiling vendor selling grilled sticky rice was taken in the morning market at Loei. I’ve seen it sold at a street stall on Sukhumvit Road at Soi 55 (Thong Lo); presumably the vendor is from Isaan.

In Northeastern Thailand (Isaan or Isahn) the preferred rice is Sticky rice. For most meals it’s served in small baskets and one dips the hand directly in the basket and rolls the rice into a ball for eating.

This picture shows another alternative, seen is most Isaan markets is a crispy grilled sticky rice, on a stick. It’s really quite delicious, typically dipped in a mixture of beaten eggs, salt and pepper and then grilled until golden brown and lightly charred and crispy. In Thai it is called kao jee; Kasma calls it Northeastern-Style Crispy Grilled Sticky Rice.

The Wednesday Photo is a new picture each week highlighting something of interest in Thailand. Click on the picture to see a larger version.

Boat Noodles (Wednesday Photo)

Michael Babcock, Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Boat Noodles at Damneon Saduak

Boat Noodle Vendor

Boat boodle vendor

Readers of this blog know that we do love our noodles. One of our favorites would have to be Boat Noodles, or Gkuay Tiow Reua. (See Kasma’s blog entry on Beef Noodle Soup.)

Damneon Saduak floating market is a popular tourist destination and for good reason. Kasma used to stop there on her off-the-beaten-track adventures but she always arrived at the market around 7:00 a.m., at least a couple hours before most of the tourists show up. After taking a boat trip around the surrounding canals she’ll invariably breakfast on Boat Noodles at the far end of the market. Although this gentleman has passed away, his children have taken over the operation.

Boat noodles are a particular type of noodle, usually with a very rich and tasty broth. Sometimes in the city you’ll see a storefront selling “boat noodles” that advertises the fact by having a boat out front to draw in customers.

Check out:

The Wednesday Photo is a new picture each week highlighting something of interest in Thailand. Click on the picture to see a larger version.

Soi 38 Night Market (Wednesday Photo)

Michael Babcock, Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Vendor at a Night Market

Night Market Vendor

Night market vendor, Sukhumvit Soi 38

This is vendor at the Sukhumvit Soi 38 night market is cooking dishes to order. My first meal in Thailand was a dish of duck noodles from this market at around 3:00 a.m. in November, 1992. There were about 20+ stalls set up and the whole area was lit up as bright as day. And I was not the only one eating – they were doing a brisk business!

It has fallen victim to Bangkok’s efforts to clean up the street food scene and no longer exists. (May 2020)

(Elsewhere on the website there’s another picture of a stall at the night market.)

The Wednesday Photo is a new picture  each week highlighting something of interest in Thailand. Click on the picture to see a larger version.

Krabi Morning Market – Maharaj Market

Michael Babcock, Saturday, February 27th, 2010

The morning market in Krabi – Maharaj Morning Market – is lively and bustling. It seems that every town and village in Thailand has at least a couple local markets: there will be at least one morning market and another separate market with different vendors in the evening. Wherever we travel in Thailand we visit as many markets as possible. The Krabi morning market is definitely on our “must visit” list.

Krabi Market, Outside

Outside of Krabi Market

It must be ten years or more that the morning market in Krabi moved to a new location. Before it was a completely outdoor market; when it moved to its new location, it acquired raised stalls under a large pavilion-type roof. At first I was worried that it would not be as interesting. Thankfully, I worried for nothing.

This is an early morning market located on Thanon Si Sawat, in-between Thanon Maharat and Thanon Utarakit. I’d get there around 7:00 a.m. or so, because even by 8:00 a.m. or so, you may miss out on some of the best treats.

Coconut Custard (Sangkaya)

Coconut custard (sangkaya)

Sticky Rice Snack

Sticky rice snack

(Click on an image to see a larger version.)

This large covered market is spread out over two areas. As you approach the market by walking down from the main highway, starting on the stalls to the right you’ll find the prepared food. To the left, towards the street, is an area that mainly has Thai kanom or snacks: we nearly always start out by heading over to the Grilled Coconut-rice Hotcake(Kanom Krok) vendor to get a basket to eat with breakfast. There are numerous other delicious looking treats, from Coconut Custard (Sangkaya) to banana-wrapped sticky rice with various flavorings.

Fried Chicken Stand

Great Fried Chicken!

Although there’s a lot of good-looking dishes, from curries to kanom jeen, we nearly always get fried chicken from a vendor on the outermost aisle: it’s opposite the building that sells pork and beef. Often there’s a bit of a line and you may need to wait for more to be fried. It is worth the wait. I usually get a couple of thigh pieces and Kasma often opts for the wings: more delicious crunchy bits to enjoy.

After eating, we’ll browse the rest of the market, talking with vendors and taking pictures. As with most markets we visit, Kasma brings pictures of vendors from the previous visit so the vendors are often quite happy to have us take their photographs. At this market , a large number (probably the majority) of the vendors are Muslim women. And the vast majority of them return a smile with a smile.

Fish Vendor

Fish vendor

Fresh Fish

Fresh fish

Near the section with the sweets is an extensive section of (very) fresh seafood. It can be a bit slippery under foot from all the water. Browsing through this section I usually regret that we don’t have access to a kitchen so we can get one of the super-fresh looking fish to take home and fry up crispy with a chilli-tamarind sauce.

Towards the front of the market you can find all kinds of fruits. Over to the left-side building are mostly vegetables of all kinds. In the back of the market you’ll find staples such as fish-sauce, rice and coconut milk.

Two vegetable vendors

Two vegetable vendors

Vegetable vendor

Vegetable vendor

When I think of this market, what I most remember are the smiling vendors. The best reason for traveling to Thailand remains the Thai people; all of the beauty and color from the sights is just an added bonus.

More Market Blogs:

Written by Michael Babcock, February 2010

Fresh Thai Chillies (Wednesday Photo)

Michael Babcock, Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Thai Chillies in Sukhothai

Fresh Thai Chillies

Fresh Thai Chillies

Here is a photo of some very fresh Thai Chillies, called prik kee noo in Thai. These. chillies are, indeed, fiery hot. Unlike some other hot peppers, the heat seems to build up and accumulate as you continue eating so that a dish, that at first bite did not seem that hot, can turn out to be very hot indeed!

We’ve already pictured Dried Red Chillies from the morning market in Suhkothai.

Read about Thai Chillies – find out why they are called “mouse shit chillies” (prik kee noo).

The Wednesday Photo is a new picture  each week highlighting something of interest in Thailand. Click on the picture to see a larger version.

Grilled Bananas (Wednesday Photo)

Michael Babcock, Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Grilled Bananas in Bangkok’s Chinatown

Grilled bananas

Grilled bananas in Bangkok's Chinatown

There are many more varieties of bananas in Thailand than we ever see in the San Francisco Bay Area. All of them taste better than what we’re used to. Some are used for frying, some for just plain eating and others for grilling.

You’ll see delicious grilled bananas such as these in nearly every open-air market you go to. These are from a vendor in Bangkok’s Chinatown. You get a sense of how easy it is to set up a street food stand: for this, all you need is a grill, some charcoal and bananas.

These are very delicious. It’s hard to pass them by, even when you’re very full from the last delicious Thai meal!

The Wednesday Photo is a new picture  each week highlighting something of interest in Thailand. Click on the picture to see a larger version.