Huai Khwang Food Market
Pracha Songkhro Rd
Khwaeng Din Daeng, แขวง ดินแดง เขต ดินแดง
Bangkok 10400, Thailand
I was scheduled for a mega event taking place over the June 26-28, 2015 weekend at IMPACT Muangthongthani. And since it’s been awhile since I last revisited the heartlands of Bangkok Metropolitan City, I decided to lodge at myhotel CMYK Ratchada – bed & daily breakfast, paid for by Rovia Bucks.
The eminent Ratchada intersection is unmistakable, given the prominence of the renown Pra Pikanes (Lord Ganesha) Temple overlooking the busy junction, coupled with the Huay Khwang MRT underground station, located at the cross roads of Ratchadarpisek Road that splits Pracha Songkhro Road to the west, and Pracharat Bamphen Road to the east.
The Huay Khwang Night Market & Food Market is localized heartland site for micro economy that comes to life as soon as the sun sets. The belt on Pracha Songkhro Road is lined with proprietors displaying & selling their produces, fast to cook & good to eat snacks/ mini-meals, apparels & accessories, flower bouquets & garlands, hardware tools & plush toys etc.
The diversity of trades, colors, smells & tastes is something I’d probably never grow tired of. You’ll have to experience it yourself to fathom my appreciation for it.
For a change, I’m not showing the miniature servings of the street food, but I’ll showcase how their collapsible mobile stalls present their food.
P.S.: it helps a lot if you’re competent in the local language
Jerhd Moo – truthfully, it’s not plain. Evidently, there’s a sweet after taste that suggests hours of bones boiled within.
Thai Durian – fear not, the Thai durian breed is almost odorless, while the texture is dry and somewhat crunchy like jackfruit.
Sweet Desserts – sugar doused ice chips on confection combination
Bahmee Moodaeng – this is a classic that most would find familiar. We relate to it as Charsiew Noodles.
Bping Tort Yahng – directly translates as grill-fry-roast. Chicken and pork is most commonly sold in this rendition. But there are also occasions you’d find mackerel and beef too.
Sweet Desserts – this granny offers sweet soups & pastes
Lahb Neau, Somtum – Lahb ___ is a local cold dish spiced salad that comes with seasoned or cured meats, while the papaya salad (Somtum) is sometimes mistaken as a local staple, instead of rice.
Ready to eat side dishes – economic dishes made available for the working class, those with live alone, those who have no time to cook
Soonkuey & Koochyekuey – Chinese presence goes far & wide. These hand-me-down family recipes have been around for generations since the 18th century; that took place under the commerce friendly reign of the Chakri Dynasty.
Fresh local produces – surprisingly sweet and succulent local produced apples, pomegranates, starfruits etc. all kept chilled & clean under chipped ice
Pickled & Preserved – the concept of preserved/ pickled/ cured food has been around for centuries, long before the refrigerator was invented. The legacy continues across Asia
Ready to eat salads – salads have always been a favorite of the locals, while this vendor offers a modern twist familiar with the west
Stripped & wrapped fresh fruits – this vendor spares his clientele of the inconvenience in buying redundant dead weight. Everything is stripped & shrink wrapped neatly for no frills purchase
Seasonal fruits – Linchee aka Lychee & Ngoh aka Rambutan, are seasonal fruits that are widely loved by this part of the continent
Friends often ask me how & why the Thai local produced fruits & vegetables often appear to rich & good tasting. Well, in my opinion, there are several angles of thoughts, to rationalize the soil fertility:
1. Historically, there have been plenty of battles fought across the kingdom (spanning across dynasties), from the northern border engaging Burma, and down towards Ayutthaya, eastern border engaging Cambodia & Laos, as well as the southern border engaging Perlis & Kedah.
2. The education of sustainable agriculture initiated by the relevant local ministries, where cross industry feeding, fertilization & irrigation is widely practiced for decades. Hence, softening the ecosystem stress during dryer seasons. Nonetheless, the recent global climate change patterns & increasing temperature has resulted in the decline in yield.