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By Ping Palahan
Bangkok has some of the very best street food in the world, with local vendors selling authentic dishes from food carts night and day. We know you’ll want to discover where the locals eat and get an authentic taste of Thai cuisine while you’re in Bangkok, but where to start? With breakfast, of course! You might be able to navigate your way around the night markets, but to really experience local life and immerse yourself in the vibrant street food culture, don’t miss out on starting your day Thai style! Skip the breakfasts catering for tourists and try the freshest local dishes, we promise you won’t be disappointed. To help you out, our local Ping has put together a guide to the best Thai breakfasts in Bangkok - enjoy!
Bangkok is the number one destination in the world for street food, and even though I might be biased, it would be impossible not to try some of the incredible Thai street food that we have while you’re visiting Bangkok. Visitors often think street food is only for the evenings, but I would like you to try street food for breakfast, the same as the Thai locals do! So here are the top 8 local Thai breakfast dishes you can’t miss.
Moo-ping is a popular breakfast for Thai people. It’s grilled pork skewers eaten with streamed sticky rice, and you’ll can find it anywhere in Bangkok on pushcarts, the pop-up food stands that move through the streets in the morning. The pork is juicy, sweet and salty - and I suggest you leave some of the hot steamed sticky rice to dip into the pork sauce that’s left in the bag for the last bite. It’s so delicious!
So now you know moo ping, but don’t miss out on trying gai yang, grilled chicken skewers too! Every part of the chicken is used, marinated in soy sauce, skewered and grilled. This dish is also juicy, salty and sold with sticky rice, but the speciality is when it comes with a spicy and sour sauce.
For those who love healthy, vegetarian cuisine, nam tao hoo is a must try. Nam Tao Hoo is Thai soybean milk that you’ll find anywhere on pushcarts in the streets early in the morning. When you order, they’ll mix the milk with sugar and you can add your own toppings from a variety of jelly, beans, grains and basil seeds.
You can’t drink nam tao hoo without eating patongo, the Thai style donut. The dough is fried in a large frying pan until golden yellow, and the soft donuts are slightly salty. You can have it with coffee like the Thai locals do, or if you’d prefer something sweeter, dip it in condensed milk or Thai green custard.
This is my favorite local breakfast. A soft-boiled egg? Yes! Wondering how it could be different from any other soft boiled egg? On the pushcarts selling coffee and tea that you’ll find all over Bangkok you can also buy soft boiled eggs, but it’s the charming way they’re served in a glass like a shot that I really love. The egg is cracked into a glass before being cooked, and you season it yourself with pepper and Maggie sauce, and drink it with a strong coffee with condensed milk layered on top.
If I had to think of the main course of a Thai breakfast, it would be joke, the local porridge that you’ll find it at markets or on pushcarts in the morning. It’s very similar to the Chinese style of porridge known as congee, and is made from rice boiled until it dissolves and forms a thick, porridge consistency. It’s served with pork, liver and boiled eggs, sprinkled with coriander and ginger, and you can add extra flavor yourself with chili powder, vinegar and soy sauce.
As well as joke, if you fancy more filling to enjoy for breakfast, we have kao tom - rice that’s cooked first on its own, then in a soup with other ingredients and broth. You can mix it with pork, fish, squid or shrimp, and it’s sprinkled with celery leaves before being served. But we also use kao tom as a plain rice soup that can be eaten with a variety of dishes, so it’s not just for breakfast, it’s popular for dinner as well.
Lastly, you can’t miss having dessert for breakfast! Kanom krok is a coconut pudding made from rice flour and concentrated coconut milk which is poured into a hot half-moon hole pan to cook until golden. This authentic Thai dessert is sprinkled with vegetables such as spring onion, corn, pumpkin and taro. Crispy outside and soft inside, the taste is sweet and a little bit salty. You can find kanom krokin any local market and on pushcarts in the morning.
Are you hungry? I hope you’re inspired to enjoy the mornings and eat breakfast local style in Bangkok, not just at the international breakfast buffet in your hotel. The only rule is to wake up early, walk through the streets and find one you like the look of! You won’t need to carry a lot of money, as all of these dishes won’t cost more than $3 each, but just remember to take cash. Enjoy!
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