First stop Bangkok! Having already visited this weird yet wonderful city when I was in my teens, the only memories I could recollect were the distinct smells around every corner & how cheap everything was, from hailing a taxi to a meal out for less than £5 each. Street food wasn’t something I had dabbled in before so this time I was excited to see what the streets had to offer at a fraction of the cost.
But first to bed. After commencing my researching ritual for hostels & locations, we decided Khao San Road seemed the place for us as we wanted to be able to go out & have bars/restaurants on our doorstep & be within walking distance of The Grand Palace.
We booked a private room in hostel, Lucky House which had great reviews, looked like a modern, clean hotel & was only £12.50 per person per night. Upon arrival we soon agreed it was perfect for what we wanted; the room came complete with private bathroom, fridge, wardrobe, TV, air-con, complimentary water & even little white slippers!
They stored our baggage the next day at no extra cost & it felt very safe so I would highly recommend staying there if you’re a couple looking for a private room right in the centre of the action.
Onto the good part! We watched a few street food stalls on Khao San Road to inspect which one we thought would be the best (and least likely to poison us) & upon doing this we got chatting to one of the chefs about the ingredients.
I always knew pad Thai was easy to make but here’s the recipe which I’ve tried to make as close to the original as possible, with a few improvisations. This is definitely a recipe I will be cooking on the regs once we get home. Quantities are a very rough estimate so take with a pinch of salt (or sugar in this instance!).
Khao San Road Pad Thai
- 1 egg
- 150g Egg noodles (around 75g per person)
- 1 large handful shredded Cabbage
- 1 large handful Beansprouts
- 1 large handful shredded Carrot
- 1 small handful chopped Spring Onions
- 1 tbsp Garlic oil
- 1-2 tbsp Soy sauce
- 1-2 tsp Sugar
- A good splash of water
- Meat of choice
- Garnish with Lime wedge & chopped peanuts
Additional garnishes: Sweet chilli sauce, fresh chopped chilli, small dried shrimps (no idea what this was actually called but they seemed popular with the locals)
Variations: Some stalls used sweet pickled cabbage instead of fresh cabbage although I’m unsure where this could be bought in UK easily unless you live near a specialist supermarket.
Method: The method is very quick & simple!
1. Heat the oil in a large wok on a high heat
2. Crack the egg & scramble until softly cooked
3. If using dry noodles make sure they are cooked first
5. Add to the cooked noodles & vegetables to the wok
7. Stir in a good few sloshes of soy sauce, sugar & a splash of water so you get a good steam going
8. Wok away stirring constantly for a minute or two until it’s hot & the veg is slightly tender but still very al dente.
9. Garnish with a lime wedge & sprinkle with crushed peanuts, chillis and any sauce to taste.
10. If you want to add meat the most popular were chicken or prawns, cook bite sized pieces in a separate pan in oil or at the very beginning in the wok until the meat is cooked through.
And that’s all there is to it! On the streets of Bangkok the Pad Thai with Egg only cost 30BHT (around 70p!) & for added Chicken or Prawn it cost around 60-80BHT. I personally decided to avoid meat as it’s kept at room temperature soaking in water on most stalls so I will be rocking it veggie where I can!
Being out and about all day, living on quick snacks was our saving grace.
7/11 stores were on every street corner & had hot Dim Sum by the till which we noticed the locals ordering so we tried some ourselves. We had a Shrimp Shumai on a stick for 19BHT & a Pork dumpling bun for 17BHT totalling less than £1 between us for lunch.
A few of the other Thai snacks I’ll be grabbing again will be:
- Tom Yum Cashews – so zingey, tasted like fresh lemongrass!
- Seaweed crisps – I’m partial to these from Itsu back home as they are very low calorie but super tasty & come in all sorts of flavours
- Toppo Chocolate sticks (for my daily sweet fix) – similar to Mikado sticks, they are filled with chocolate with a slightly salty pretzel outter & for only 9BHT (20p) they hit the spot for a sweet treat.
Next stop… a 12 hour overnight bus to Phuket, wish us luck!