You’re heading into battle. Every good Super Soaker soldier knows you need to be fuelled up and ready for anything at a moment’s notice. Here in Thailand, we arm our warriors with dishes heavy on curry and noodles—really gets the blood pumping. Probably.
Luckily, Phuket is bursting at the pants seams with top-notch eateries offering some of the country’s tastiest food items. Can you pronounce any of these? Because I sure can’t! The best thing about Thai food though: good taste is never lost in translation.
Here are eight foods to try in Phuket to add fuel to your fight:
HOKKIEN MEE NOODLE
Out of China’s Fujian province once upon a time comes Hokkien Mee, a dish consisting of thick egg and rice noodles stir-fried with egg, pork, squid, bean sprouts, and prawns. It’s typically served with vegetables, small pieces of crunchy fried pork lard (as all meals should be, am I right?), a squeeze of lime, and a super spicy sauce known as sambal.
You better fill up on Kanom Jeen early as it’s primarily a breakfast or lunch noodle and harder to find later in the day. This dish consists of thing noodles made from rice that has been fermented for three days before being boiled. Top them with a variety of curries, serve with almost any combination of pickled vegetables and you’ve got yourself a hearty meal for powering up an even heartier water fight.
Think of the Roti Pancake as a sort of Thai crepe, if you will. It’s a thin, sweet pancake consisting of two parts: dough and filling. The dough is made from flour, egg, condensed milk, sugar and salt while the filling can be just about anything you want: egg, strawberry, banana, chocolate sauce, or your opponents tears for instance. Roti pancakes are then often topped with thick coconut milk or ice cream—so yeah, the perfect post-defeat treat.
Easy like Chinese Sunday morning… or maybe you’ll just call it breakfast. Thanks to the large Chinese influence in Thailand we can fill our before-noon-bellies with dim sum—a kind of Chinese tapas, for those who don’t know what dim sum is. For those of you who don’t know what “tapas” is, you really need to get out more.
Dim sum is small portions of food (two or three of each item) served in metal or bamboo steamers. It can be just about any combination of ingredients including tofu, beef, shrimp, vegetables, egg, pork, and so on. Click here for some common examples.
Massaman Curry is the perfect curry for spice wimps like me. It’s a milder version with the spiciness being dulled by the use of coconut milk, lime juice, peanuts, tomatoes, and dried spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and basil. Chicken is the most popular meat addition in the West but over in Thailand it’s beef, lamb, or even mutton. Massaman Curry is best served over steamed jasmine rice on cool nights. I think that calls for a slow jam…
GAENG KEAW WAN
Gaeng Keaw Wan literally means “sweet green curry” but what I think they meant was “holy cow that’s SPICYYYY!”
Gaeng Keaw Wan is definitely for those who enjoy the spicier side of life (while I hide under the table with smoke billowing from my ears). It’s made with a green curry paste of Thai green chillies and incorporates a variety of fresh vegetables: cauliflower, eggplant, and bell peppers to name a few. It has a teeny bit of sweetness from added coconut milk and a bit of saltiness from fish sauce. It’s typically served with chicken over rice or the kanom jeen I mentioned earlier. How about that!
TOM YUM GOONG
Tom Yum is a type of Thai hot and sour soup. Tom Yum Goong is the most popular version with Thai tourists and uses prawns as the main ingredient.
Another super spicy meal to help get you fired up before you get watered down, this soup is often served with rice or noodles and is heavy on the herbs and spices such as lemongrass, lime leaves and lime juices, fish sauce, and chilli peppers.
Ahh, the original Thai fast food. The pronounce-able meal. Pad Thai, this tasty Thai treat, is a stir-fried rice noodle dish that rounds it all out: sweet, spicy, sour, salty.
Soaked dried noodles provide the base while either shrimp, pork, or chicken provide the protein. This dish is flavoured with tamarind, that ever-present fish sauce, garlic, red chilli peppers, palm sugar, and a fistful of other miscellaneous ingredients. It’s served with lime wedges and chopped peanuts and is one of Thailand’s most common street foods.