L17g - Food: Foodstalls

There are foodstalls everywhere in Thailand. Some set up on street corners, some are mobile. Many Thais set up little foodstalls outside their house. Dishes usually cost between 20-50 baht.

The following are some typical foodstall dishes. The dividing line between what is a foodstall dish and what is served at a restaurant is blurred. Many of these dishes will also be available at restaurants.

In general, foodstall dishes are ready prepared or simple dishes that can be cooked in a few minutes.

gu-ay tee-ow noodles
kaow pat fried rice
pat thai stir fried noodles
pat pak boong stir fried morning glory with chilies and soy bean sauce
kai jee-ow Thai omelette
kai dao fried egg
ga-prao gai chicken with basil and chilies.
kaow man gai boiled chicken with rice and spicy bean sauce
gai pat king stir fried chicken and ginger
pat gai prik stir fired chicken and chilies
som tam spicy papaya salad
laap minced meat, sour with mint
gai yahng grilled chicken
rat nah wide rice noodles in gravy with vegetables and meat
roti indian style pancakes
mair-lang insects



Noodle stalls are the most common foodstalls in Thailand. You can get a bowl of noodle soup with vegetables, meats and condiments for 20-30 baht. The word 'guay tee-ow' is recognised around much of southeast Asia for this style of noodles.

There are several options for how to eat these noodle dishes. First you must select the type of noodle. There are 'sen mee' (thin strand), 'sen lek' (medium strand) 'sen yai' (flat wide noodles) and 'ba-mee' (egg noodles).

You can order the noodles with broth ('sai nam') or dry ('hairng'). You choose the type of meat or meatballs you want. Finally you add condiments such as chili powder, chili vinegar, fish sauce and sugar.

pat pak boong

This dish is fantastically simple and surprisingly satisfying. It is stir fried pak boong (morning glory) which is a vegetable that grows abundantly around well watered areas such as waterways or ponds. The dish is made with garlic, chilies and soy bean sauce and served with rice.

kai jee-ow

Thai omelette is deep fried. It is often made with a filling such as minced pork (moo sap).

ga-prao gai

This is another simple dish that can be cooked in just a couple of minutes. Like most of these dishes, it does not have to be made with chicken. It can be prepared with any meat cut into small pieces or minced. It is cooked with basil (ga-prao) and chilies and served with rice. It is often ordered with a fried egg (kai dao).


This dish is immensely popular in Thailand. It is shredded papaya mixed with lemon juice, chilies and other ingredients which are all pounded together with a mortar and pestle. There are a few variations. The easiest for westerners to eat is som-tam thai. This is made with nuts, dried prawns and green beans. Other versions can be too harsh for western palettes. som-tam bpoo is a popular version where a raw crab is pounded into the mix.


Insects are originally a northern Thai food but over the last decade they have become more and more popular throughout the rest of the country. You will see insect stalls serving a variety of grasshoppers (dtak-ga-dtairn), beetles (mairng), ants (mot), ant eggs (kai mot), larvae and other bugs. They are usually fried and sprayed with a salty sauce. They are apparently a very good source of protein. You might even like the taste - but maybe not.






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