These authentic Thai Fish Cakes are super quick and easy to make. No need waiting to have these when you go to a Thai restaurant. Once your family and friends taste them they will think you are an expert Thai cook. And why not? Mildly warm spices and Thai ingredients deliver a superb fish cake.
Together with a cucumber sauce, this appetizer provides a lovely balance between those important Thai concepts of salty, spicy, sweet and sour. It is worth sourcing the all-important Thai ingredients to achieve the authentic taste. The rest is easy. Find yourself an Asian grocer and you will be able to buy all of these ingredients. Trust me they are worth it! (Or order them online.) Authentic Thai fish cakes.
We also take a look at Chiang Mai street food. It’s incredibly cheap and the sheer variety of choice is mind-blowing to me. Read on for how you can eat for as little as $1 USD in Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai Street Food
Last week we featured another classic appetizer, beef wrapped in betel nut. I also took some time out in that post to write about the joys of street food in Bangkok. Today we turn our attention to Chiang Mai.
Is the street food as good as Bangkok? In a nutshell, it is even better and it is incredibly cheap if you want to keep to a budget. We generally spent between $1 to $3 (USD). Incredible isn’t it? The sheer range of food available is fantastic. There are a number of areas around the old town where you will find large street food stations. By the Chang Puek gate and the Chiang Mai Gate and any of the markets are all great choices.
You can expect to find food from the nearby hill tribes, where there is more slow-cooked food, and it’s a little different to what’s served in Bangkok. Some great choices are:
- Spicy Soup from Isaan
- Coconut Milk Curry with Rice Noodles
- Soy Sauce Pork
- Catfish (cooked in a variety of ways)
- Hainan Chicken and Rice (strong Chinese influence)
- Grilled Pork (always eaten with sticky rice)
- Thai Basil Chicken with Fried Egg (this is a classic)
- Stir Fried Morning Glory (also known as water spinach. Chiang Mai’s favorite green veggie)
- Northern Curry Noodles
- Chicken curries done in a variety of sauces
- Coconut Rice Dumplings
- Mango with Sticky Rice
- and of course authentic Thai Fish Cakes
The thing I most love about eating street food in Chiang Mai is that you mix with the locals and other tourists. It is very communal and there is no shortage of people in good spirits. A high proportion of people living in Chiang Mai are university students. They are well behaved and most have very good English skills so it is easy to have a conversation with them.
Water and ice are provided free and in Chiang Mai it is apparently safe. You do have the choice to buy bottled water and that is what we did and what we would recommend. We ate on the streets numerous times and personally I enjoyed it more than our restaurant visits as the atmosphere was better and the food was just as good.
The quality of the food is very good and you should relax about eating on the street. The vendors cannot afford to sell poor or low quality food as they will soon be out of business. Tipping is not expected and English is generally understood. If not, a local will help you out.
Would you like to try the street food but still feel a little uneasy about it or are not sure what to choose? Then why not take part in a Chiang Mai Street Food Tour*? We took one when we first arrived. It is a great way to learn about local cuisine in Chiang Mai and northern Thailand. You learn some of the Thai words associated with food and you will have plenty of different tastings along the way at multiple street food markets. Go hungry! They pick you up and drop you back at your accommodation. Once you experienced this you won’t be able to stop yourself from returning.
Authentic Thai Fish Cakes
One of the dishes you will likely have on the street are the authentic Thai fish cakes. A common appetizer exported all over the world by Thais operating restaurants. They are a sublime appetizer and in my view are the best fish cake you will ever taste.
Red curry paste is an important ingredient in our authentic Thai fish cakes. Make your own by clicking on the link. Not only can you then make these but you also have the base for making the superb Thai Red Curry (with fish, beef, chicken, pork or make it vegetarian).
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Other Asian Dishes with Some Spice
Looking for some more spicy foods? If so, you might also enjoy these:
Fish Amok. is the national dish of Cambodia. Our most popular curry on Compass & Fork is toned down with a creamy curry-based sauce.
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