Thai Street Food Made at Home in 30 Minutes

By 5 m read

Thai Street Food - A glimpse of Thai street food (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
A glimpse of Thai street food (Photo by Erich Boenzli)

Bangkok is known as the tropical capital of Thailand. But even more so, it’s known for its street food. Although it’s been nearly 30 years since I last visited this great city, I can still smell the aromas wafting through the streets from hundreds of food stalls, drawing me toward one and shelling out 40 Bhat (about 1 USD) for a plate that looks and smells incredible and tastes even better. Wow, what did I just eat? I didn’t always know and I didn’t always want to know.  But I did know that it was always magical.

 

Street food is Bangkok’s great unifier, its great democracy. From every walk of live, people know exactly their favorite food stall, which, in their opinion, makes the best Tom Yum Goong (Spicy Shrimp Soup) or Gaeng Daeng (Red Curry) or a nameless phenomenal noodle dish, and so on and so on.

 

Yes, it’s true, we can buy fish sauce, bird’s eye chilies, cilantro, and even lemongrass in most supermarkets. But it’s also true that we can never achieve that special, spicy, delicious meal that I had so many times while sitting on a wobbly plastic chair on a sidewalk, surrounded by locals in a cacophony of  languages, colors, cars, and – of course – mopeds and tuk tuks.

 

So I’m not saying that the following recipe will bring you back to the streets of Bangkok. But at least it will give you a glimpse of their cuisine and will hopefully trigger you to go there yourself and see what I mean.

 

The bright flavor of lime combined with the spiciness of hot peppers and the “unexplainable” depth of fish sauce mixed with fresh herbs somehow, to me, represents a busy, hot, tropical, sweaty night at a street food market in Bangkok. But don’t take my word for it, go ahead, try this dish and let me know if you feel it too.

Thai Street Food - The fresher, the better (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
The fresher, the better (Photo by Erich Boenzli)

Thai cooking is mostly done in woks, but a high-rimmed skillet will do just fine. It happens quickly, so it’s essential that you have all your ingredients ready to go before you get started. The fancy word for this is mise en place.

 

Thai Street Food Preparation

Grab a bowl and combine the shallots, fish sauce, hot peppers, sugar, lime juice, and half of the scallions, mint, and cilantro. You’re nearly halfway done 🙂

Thai Street Food - It‘ll taste as good it looks (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
It‘ll taste as good it looks (Photo by Erich Boenzli)

Heat 1 Tbsp neutral oil  over medium heat and cook the ground pork for about 5 minutes. This step is not meant to brown the ground pork, but just to cook it until it’s no longer pink. I use a wooden spoon and move the meat around frequently to achieve even cooking and break up any clumps. Remove the pork and drain the juices (in other words, use a slotted spoon to take the meat out of the skillet).

Thai Street Food - Not browned, just cooked until no longer pink (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
Not browned, just cooked until no longer pink (Photo by Erich Boenzli)

Pretty simple so far, right? You’re actually already done with the cooking! Clean your skillet and the other dirty dishes while you wait for the meat to cool for a couple minutes.

 

Combine the meat with the sauce and give it good stir. Taste it. Now is a good time to add some Maldon salt to brighten up the flavors a bit.

Thai Street Food - It’s ok to taste a teeny, tiny bit and add some salt, if necessary (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
It’s ok to taste a teeny, tiny bit and add some salt, if necessary (Photo by Erich Boenzli)

Serve over cooked rice, top with remaining scallions, mint, and cilantro, and serve with an ice cold beer (a Corona Extra works excellent).

 

You’ll have to make this dish a few times to find out what balance of herbs, fish sauce, and spiciness you like the most. But that won’t be problem, as this dish is so easy and quick to make and you’ll develop a craving for it anyway. So use the amounts in this recipe as a guideline and I’ll be very curious to hear what amounts you came up with.

 

“Cooking is a craft, I like to think, and a good cook is a craftsman – not an artist.”  ~Anthony Bourdain

 

Did you make this Thai Street Food recipe? Let us know in the comments below!

Do your friends enjoy delicious recipes too? Share this article with them and let us know what you all think by commenting below and rating this recipe!

Tag your photos with #maplewoodroad on social media and share them on our Facebook page! Have any questions about this recipe? Ask on our Maplewood Road Community Facebook page and I’ll be happy to help. 😊

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter for more great recipes!

Thai Street Food - A glimpse of Thai street food (Photo by Erich Boenzli)

Thai Street Food Made at Home - Crazy Easy and Crazy Delicious in 30 Minutes

Bangkok is known as the tropical capital of Thailand, but it’s also known for its street food. This recipe will give you a glimpse of their cuisine.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

  • 3/4 lb ground pork (or you could use ground turkey)
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 habanero, finely chopped (or bird’s eye chili, if you can find it)
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 c cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 c mint leaves, use your hands and tear it apart, it releases the oils beautifully
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • Maldon salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Chop all ingredients "mise en place."
  • Grab a bowl and combine the shallots, fish sauce, hot peppers, sugar, lime juice, and half of the scallions, mint, and cilantro.  You’re nearly halfway done 🙂
  • Heat 1 Tbsp neutral oil (link Pantry one) over medium heat and cook the ground pork for about 5 minutes.  This step is not meant to brown the ground pork, but just to cook it until it’s no longer pink.  I use a wooden spoon and move the meat around frequently to achieve even cooking and break up any clumps.  Remove the pork and drain the juices (in other words, use a slotted spoon to take the meat out of the skillet). Let the meat cool a couple minutes.
  • Combine the meat with the sauce and give it good stir.  Taste it. Now is a good time to add some Maldon salt to brighten up the flavors a bit.
  • Serve over cooked rice, top with remaining scallions, mint, and cilantro, and serve with an ice cold beer (a Corona Extra works excellent).

Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.

 

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




No Comments Yet.