I have many fond memories of traveling in Thailand. I’ve been lucky enough to go twice, spending two months there in total. If you’ve been, and I mean actually went instead of just staying in a resort in Phuket, you’ll surely remember the three things that stuck out most for me: how easy it is to get around the country, how tasty the food is(Especially Thai coconut soup), and how friendly the people are.
For an example of each, there’s the one time I caught a bus that felt as if the wheels were pointing in four different directions and had no suspension. After rocking left to right for half an hour I thought it best to spare myself as an accidental sacrifice and jumped off. No problem, the local policeman simply gave me a ride to the next destination. Once there, I tucked into some street food at the night market while watching some locals do strange aerobics on a lawn.
The aerobics was shocking, but the street food was awesome. Fish balls, curries, sweet coffee in a bag, coconut pancakes, chicken skewers, pineapple sticks, Thai coconut soup, and lots more. And then there’s friendliness, which I witnessed regularly. Mostly 20-30 minutes after each meal when I had to bang on some poor stranger’s door to ask if I could make use of their squat toilet. Knee-breakers, those things.
But how good is the food there? Well, for every great meal I had in Thailand, I endured minor torture afterward, yet somehow, the food made it all worthwhile. Really, go, you’ll love it.
On a completely separate note, here’s a recipe for the easiest Thai coconut soup in the world, which happens to be Thai.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
- 3x 340ml tins coconut milk
- 2 large chicken breasts, sliced
- 4 Tbsp fish sauce
- 5 kaffir lime leaves, crushed
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated or crushed
- 4 portions vermicelli noodles
- 2 red chilies, chopped lengthways
- 2 Tbsp red curry paste
- 2 small sticks lemongrass, hard layer removed and finely chopped
- 3 Tbsp palm or brown sugar
- 1 handful fresh coriander, loosely picked
- Peanut or cooking oil
- First, put the noodles in a bowl of boiling water while you prepare the soup.
- Heat a splash of peanut oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the curry paste and fry for 30 seconds.
- Then add the chicken, ginger, and lemongrass and stir over the heat for 10-seconds before adding half the coconut milk, the kaffir lime leaves, and fish sauce.
- Let simmer for 15-minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
- Stir in the lemon juice and sugar.
- Drain the noodles and add them to the saucepan along with the remaining coconut milk.
- Keep over the heat until warm again.
- Serve in bowls and top with chopped chili and coriander.