This is the quintessential Thai dish, but it’s often ruined in restaurants around the world, as they standardize it to the point where it becomes generic. Yet I love a good pad thai, and when you veer out of the tourist destinations, it’s easy to find it in Thailand. On Sukhimvit 33 in Bangkok, there’s a pad thai stall so good that even my Thai friends compliment it. I bring every visitor to Bangkok there. Pad thai may be standard fare, but it’s oh so good.
I love eating spring rolls as a quick street snack. You get five for 50 cents. Throughout the streets of the main cities, you find little stalls around, and for a quick midday or late-night appetizer, nothing beats a spring roll — draped in sweet chili sauce, of course.
Red Pork Noodle Soup (Kuay Teow Moo Daeng)
By far my favorite Thai dish, this red pork noodle soup is sadly only found in Thailand. It’s street food (i.e., not found in restaurants), and because of the way they make the broth, you’ll never find it outside of Thailand. The broth sits for a long time, and health and safety organizations don’t really sign off on kitchens doing that. This dish consists of noodles, a potent and flavorful broth (made from boiled pork bones and onions), sprouts, bok choy, and slices of red pork. You can eat it a few ways, and I eat mine with a little fish sauce (sour), a few spoonfuls of sugar (sweet), and a small amount of chili. It’s always the first dish I eat when I return to Thailand.