So in my last post I talked about home cooked, fresh, whole food. I would like to continue talking about food and share with you a few of my dining experiences. First I must say my favorite prepared food in Thailand is chicken barbeque. There is nothing special about it, not spicy, just chicken tied to bamboo and cooked on an open grill or clay stove. I could eat it every day. I would eat a ½ chicken for breakfast with rice and some veggies. You must also know a ½ chicken in Thailand is nowhere as near as big as a ½ chicken in the states. And the reason I would eat the chicken for breakfast is because the local food shop/market in the village had them ready by 6:30-7:00am and they tasted so good fresh. Another great thing about these tasty grilled chickens is they are readily available at every market, food shop and roadside vendor. Of course some cook them better than others and each cook has their own style… so I had to try them all.
Here in the USA “fast food” is a part of everyday life. So much so that it is sometimes impossible to get away from it. When you’re out and on the go and you need a quick meal there is a plethora of choices. Most of them are unhealthy although if you try hard enough and are smart enough you can make a good choice for let’s say a lunchtime meal. If I was to walk into a convenience store in my part of New Jersey and wanted to make a healthy choice I would more likely choose a couple hard boiled eggs, a green salad and fresh fruit of some sort. Now of course there are many other choices that could be made in the same store, but you’re going start into the “prepared” food and be moving away from the whole food healthier choices.
However while in Thailand, “yes” there are all same fast food chains we have here. While I was there I seen KFC, Pizza Hut, Burger King, McDonalds and many more. And 7-11 stores are so plentiful that you if you were to fall down you would surely hit one with your head on the way to the ground and that is not a joke. But who needs all those bad choices when you have roadside vendors, food shops and markets everywhere. I could go to any roadside market and find grilled fish, chicken or pork, soups, fresh fruit, veggies and rice. Although brown rice is my standard and that was always hard to find. And the food is cheap. Now I know some Americans get very skeptical about cleanliness and “how did they prepare it?” But you know what… I looked around and I didn’t see any dead bodies or people puking their guts out so… “when in Rome do as the Romans do” is what I always say. Of course they could have been hiding the dead customers behind the roadside stand, but smelling and seeing fresh cooking over an open fire… well I guess I just have to take that chance. Seriously though, I purchased food from the markets and food vendors and it was awesomely good and I am here typing this blog so I did survive. And really folks, when it comes to preparation standards here in the USA… I challenge anyone to walk into the kitchen of their favorite restaurant and stand there for 2 hours and see what & how things are done… and then go sit in the front of the house and order your meal. Something not many people would be able to do. Give a whole new meaning to “stay out of the kitchen” lol.
And lastly I will talk about my open air night time dining where you cook most of the food yourself. So much fun, and again 90% whole food. I loved it. The raw ingredients are stored on ice and you just go choose what you want. Come back to your table and you have a fire pot set into your table. Rather than write about it I’ll let the video do the talking.
So there you have it… that is my way of dining out while staying in Thailand and I loved it. I am by no means a health food nut and I do not always make the best or healthiest choices when I eat. But I must say while in Thailand, Kalasin in particular I found it very easy to make healthier choices and eat whole food meals without really thinking about it. Nothing fancy and not gourmet, but just good tasting food.