It’s always a risk trying something new in a new country - especially when it comes to food. I’m particularly rigid about sticking to what I know for a couple of reasons.
For one, my stomach is sensitive, and I never know how my body will react to certain spices or different mixtures of ingredients. Secondly, if I try something and end up not liking it, it might put me off trying anything else that’s unfamiliar to me for the duration of my stay in a foreign place.
Nevertheless, I was eager to try out a variety of Thai meals during my stay in the country, and I’m glad that I did. Here are my recommendations of some that I think you should try when you visit Thailand.
1. Pad Thai: it’s a stir-fried noodle meal served at most – if not all – Thai restaurants. It’s made of rice noodles, a scrambled egg, beef, chicken or tofu, bean sprouts, and crushed peanuts. In case you’re allergic to nuts, you might want to request that it’s prepared without the peanuts for you. It’s also a good idea to order a drink with your meal, as it’s a bit dry.
2. Thai pineapple fried rice: By the time I was ordering this for the first time, I’d only had egg-fried rice and chicken-fried rice. I’d enjoyed both but wasn’t sure that my experience would be the same with this one. However, I found it delicious – especially accompanied by sweet and sour pork stew, which also had cooked pineapples in it. It doesn’t seem to be as popular as other types of fried rice, though. So, I’d suggest trying it whenever you get the chance to.
3. Chapati/roti: it has its origins in India. Nevertheless, it’s quite popular in Kenya, and I’ve been eating it ever since I was a child. I was missing it a lot as I stayed at a hotel in Thailand and couldn’t cook for myself. So, you can imagine how happy I was when I found out that it’s served at the school canteen. Whenever I had it for lunch, it was served with chicken stew. It also goes well with kidney bean stew, lentils, and beef stew.
4. Fried chicken with Bok choy: This is another meal I discovered at the school canteen. I like this meal because it has a good balance of carbohydrates, protein, and vegetables. It’s also simple, but tasty. Bok choy is a Chinese type of cabbage but is occasionally used in some Thai restaurants to prepare meals of Chinese origin. Depending on how it’s cooked, it can be a bit dry. So, I’d recommend having a drink beside you as you devour it.
5. Coconut water and mangoes: mangoes are favourite in Kenya and I was happy to learn that Thai people love them just as much I had slices of mango served on a banana leaf as a dessert in a restaurant in Bangkok and washed everything down with coconut water. It was a mouth-watering combination and kept me hydrated in the city’s scorching heat.