Foodie Friday: Fish Food

I think I’ve found my new favourite street food. Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration. I have many favourite street foods, but most of them are calorie bombs that threaten to clog my arteries for life (hello, deep-fried bananas). Let’s call this my new favourite (reasonably) healthy street food. Introducing the whole roast fish, complete with eyeballs sockets and scales. These fishy fellows are conveniently available at the end of our street, but to my eternal regret, it took us almost 4 months to sample them.

So convenient that you don’t even have to get off your bike.

There was a good reason for our delay – we were concerned that they were scooped out of the local khlong, and frankly, nothing would induce me to sample critters that came out of that swamp. Fortunately, one of our health-conscious friends at school (thanks, Erin) assured us that the fish did not crawl out of the muck, and furthermore, they came with wicked-awesome sauce.*

She’s telling the truth, right guys?

We decided to make our first foray into fish paradise one evening. The cute couple that runs the fish stand seemed pleased and surprised that the farangs had popped in for some of their wares.

What took you fools so long?

The fish are jammed onto metal skewers, and slowly roasted over a charcoal fire. When you order the fish, the vendor asks you to choose the one you want (kind of pointless, because they are all the same size). He then uses a knife to gently ease your prize off the prongs and into a Styrofoam box. His adorable wife adds a bag of wicked-awesome sauce, a bag of fresh veggies, and a bag of rice noodles. Haul it all home, and dive into your prize.

Our fish overlooks the khlong behind our house – that wasn’t your former home, was it?

The whole haul.

To access the fish goodness, simply peel back the skin. Don’t throw it away, though, because it is covered in delicious coarse smoked salt that is perfect with the tender fish flesh.

Hmmm. This is a little creepy. Sort of like Body Worlds.

The fish is stuffed with an herb mixture – mostly lemon grass, I think.

Can’t decide if this visual crosses the line between delicious and disgusting.

There is an important method to eating this meal. First, flatten a large cabbage or lettuce leaf, and prepare to fill it with goodness. Layer rice/noodles, fish, herbs, and sauce on top of the leaf, roll it up, and mow down.

We usually substitute brown rice for the rice noodles.

Take a moment to peel yourself off the floor after collapsing in a fit of ecstasy, and repeat the process. I may have missed out on a few months of fish fabulousness, but I plan to mend the error in my ways.

Best 100 Baht (3$) I’ve ever spent.

*This may or may not have been her exact phrase.

14 thoughts on “Foodie Friday: Fish Food

  1. I’m salivating Ruth. One of my all time favorite dishes at Thai Sa On here in Cowtown is that same fish you just pictured and described, head and all. It is sooooooooooooooo tasty…

  2. Mmm-hmm! Another food I need to hunt up in Calgary. I guess I can check with Sophia, who knows all the good eating places. Great photos, Ruth!

  3. For the readers who don’t live in Thailand, “khlong” is the Thai word for canal. They call Bangkok the Venice of SE Asia because of the khlongs that weave through almost every part of the city.

  4. Pingback: Expat Interview: Kim J. | The Facetious Farang

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