Here’s a guide to ten must-try street food items in Phuket!
Sweet, sour, spicy and tangy are often used to describe Thai cuisine. Local Thai fare are well-deserving of these descriptions, for it has diverse flavour profiles due to the myriad of spices, herbs and ingredients used.
Trawling the street food stalls in Phuket is an activity not to be missed during your vacation there. There are plenty of walking streets and outdoor markets waiting to be explored on the island.
All you need to do is to arrive with an empty stomach, and be ready to devour the following dishes:
1. Haw Mok
This is a little parcel of delight! Wrapped within the banana leaf is a serving of crab mousse cake that is soft, tender and comes with a tangy, spicy kick. This is the perfect accompaniment to main dishes like kanom jeen.
Piping hot, crisp slices of Thai-style pancake, are served straight off the pan. If you have a sweet tooth, a serving of roti, presented with a dash of condensed milk or slices of banana promises to satisfy your sugar craving.
If the savoury option is your pick, your serving of roti will come along with an appetisingly spicy curry dish. Warm up your tummy by having the spicy option for breakfast, just as the Thais do!
3. Kanom Jeen
Another breakfast favourite among the locals, kanom jeen is a noodle dish comprising of a variety of ingredients. First, you will need to select a curry sauce from choices such as beef, fish, chicken or crab curry. Next, add in rice noodles, along with a selection of fresh vegetables like radish, sprouts and beans. Lastly, throw in a dash of spices and herbs to add a delightful kick to the dish.
4. Moo Ping and Khao Niao
Moo ping refers to skewered grilled pork, and khao niao translates to mean ‘glutinous rice’ in English. This is an extremely popular street food combo widely found throughout street food markets in Phuket.
The skewered pork is dipped in a tasty marinade made from fish sauce, palm sugar, garlic and coconut milk, before being roasted atop a charcoal grill. What you will get to savour is tender, succulent chunks of meat with a tantalising, aromatic flavour.
5. Sala Pao
There are two varieties of sala pao – the first type, known as sai wan, refers to steamed buns with a sweet paste, while sai kem refers to buns with a salty stuffing. One of the most popular variety is a savoury bun containing a pork and salted egg stuffing.
6. Khao Tum Mud
Khao tum mud refers to a Thai dessert made with steamed rice, wrapped with banana leaves, and containing a stuffing made of coconut milk and banana.
Although it is known as a dessert, there is a savoury twist to this sweet treat. For the salty variety, vendors use ingredients such as pork fat or mung beans to make the stuffing.
7. Kanom Krok
Kanom Krok is a coconut pudding, often topped off with a sprinkling of sweet corn. This popular street side dessert is unique to Thailand, and usually comes in a small, circular shape.
8. Kanom Buang
Kanom buang translates to mean ‘Thai crepes’ in English. The appearance of this dessert resembles tacos, and it is usually served with stuffing made from shredded coconut, egg yolk or chopped scallions.
9. Khao Lam
What is this interesting, quirky dessert served in short sections of bamboo?
This sweet delight is known as khao lam, a dish made of sticky rice, red beans, sugar, grated coconut and coconut milk. It may be made with different combinations of ingredients – sometimes, dark purple glutinous rice, rather than white rice is used. Certain vendors may also add a coconut custard as a filling in the middle of the dessert.
10. Luk Chup
Take a look at these colourful, gleaming bite-sized gems! They almost look too pretty to be eaten.
This dessert, called luk chup, are bright, shiny sweets made by boiling mung bean, sugar and coconut milk into a pulp, before moulding them into miniature shapes resembling different varieties of fruits.