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.

Introducing: Foodie Fridays!

I dig alliteration, and I dig food, so from now on, my Friday posts will focus on this marvellous marriage. It’s all about startin’ your weekend right.

Samut Prakan Night Market

Shopping in da ‘hood

It seems appropriate for this section’s first post to focus on something close to my home and dear to my heart: our neighbourhood night market.  A few stalls operate every day of the week, but on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, the market really heats up, with Friday night being the biggest and the best. The market sells a variety of household goods, meat sticks, “sea” food, and clothing. Case in point: Todd bought his entire wardrobe from one of the vendors.

Todd wearing his favourite 100% genuine polyester shirt

But let’s get on with the chow. Besides, that is where this market really shines. We buy most of our fruit and some of our vegetables here.

The fruit stand we frequent. We can never decide if the vendor is cheating us or not.

Veggie stand. My mother may have been negligent about teaching me Thai, but she sure taught me how to select a cucumber

There are also plenty of meat sticks to be had.

Todd was excited by these genuine-looking sausages. Until he bit into one, and discovered that it was 99% fat. This seems to be a trend with us…

There are also a variety of items that I really can’t categorize. These range from deep-friend gelatinous rice’n’seaweed blobs to random entrails. I would have no clue what these gems tasted like if it weren’t for my favourite gourmand, Tbone. His MO: see it, buy it, eat it, regret it.

Todd is drawn to gelatinous rice’n’seaweed blobs the same way that a vulture is drawn to carrion – he can’t help it.

Even Todd wasn’t tempted by the goose necks

As I alluded to earlier, the market also sells a variety of “sea” food. While we live fairly close to the sea, we live even closer to a canal, which is where I suspect the bulk of “the catch” is caught.

“Sea” food

There are a few stalls that don’t even pretend that their catch doesn’t come from the canal/bog/sludge.

Fresh-n-tasty frogs. You’re welcome.

Generally, by the time we get home for dinner, Todd is already full from all his impulse buys, and I’m trying to scrub the image of frog guts from my brain.

What should Todd sample next? Leave me a note!