Every time I go to Thailand, I curse my human body for having only one small stomach. If I were a cow, I’d have four chambers of generous real estate to house the delicious culinary delights of Thailand, but, alas, I am not a cow, so I have to ingest just one meal at a time. But since food is so cheap, I can order several dishes and dip my tongue into all of them. Here are some food photos to make your stomach rumble:

Papaya salad with seafood

A little bit sweet with a citrus tang; the crispness of unripe papaya mixed in with the crunchiness of toasted peanuts and the odd wedge of nasal-charring chilli to remind you that you’re still alive.

Green Thai curry

Green is my favorite of all the Thai curries. The chilli in this dish has an accumulative effect, so that it’s not until you’re spooning the last mouthful, that you realise your entire hairdo is aflame.

Mango sticky rice

Fresh, ripe mango, combined with sticky rice drowned in sugary coconut milk. Make sure that, if you ever find yourself stranded on a deserted island, you remember to pre-pack some rice so that – with the help of some coconuts and some wild mangos (because all deserted islands have mangos, right?) – you and Wilson can have this for dessert every night.

Sweet and sour soup

It’s sweet, it’s sour, and all kinds of good things are doing breaststroke in this swimming pool of aromatic spices.


An eclectic variety of textures and tastes that is mild enough in flavor to act as an inoffensive food item when you’re suffering from intestinal parasites. Yep: I’m quite the expert.

Unidentifiable market stand foods

This is where intestinal parasites are hatched, so I don’t touch, I just look … and drool … and open my wallet … and thumb Thai baht … and then stop myself just before I place my order for one strand of grilled mystery balls, or one tray of tiny, unidentifiable fried eggs, or one whole fish on a skewer. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it’s not going to kill me. Yet.

And finally, the beer.

Because it’s beer. Because it’s cheap. Because it’s cold and bubbly and it soothes my chilli-blistered tongue.

Torre DeRoche is the author of two travel memoirs, Love with a Chance of Drowning (2013) and The Worrier’s Guide to the End of the World (due out September 2017). She has written for The Atlantic, The Guardian Travel, The Sydney Morning Herald, Emirates, and two Lonely Planet anthologies.

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27 Response Comments

  • Monica  February 25, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Mmmm, this food looks so amazing! I’m flying to Thailand tomorrow and the food is one of the things I’m most looking forward to. Thai Red Curry is my fave and that papaya salad looks fab!

    • Torre DeRoche  February 25, 2011 at 10:06 pm

      Have fun in Thailand, the food does not disappoint.

  • Akila  February 25, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Lovely post! Mango with sticky rice is my absolute fave.

    • Torre DeRoche  February 25, 2011 at 10:07 pm

      Thank you. Yep, it’s the right balance of salty, sugary, milky and juicy.

  • Christy @ Technosyncratic  February 25, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    I adore adore adore Thai food! Did I mention I adore Thai food?

    So this post has me salivating like whoa. Not so sure about the unidentifiable street food that looks like a cross between an egg and an eyeball, though. 😛

    • Torre DeRoche  February 25, 2011 at 10:13 pm

      But don’t you just want to taste ONE of those ‘eyeballs’? I do.

  • Bree  February 25, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    “one strand of grilled mystery balls” – ha ha ha. I love the street vendors in Bangkok. I generally throw caution to the wind. I wish I had some green curry right now for breakfast.

    Beautiful images!

    • Torre DeRoche  February 25, 2011 at 10:42 pm

      Which is why you always end up getting a month-long bout of dysentery. I admire your caution-into-wind throwing, but I am not the Fearful Adventurer for nothing. Plus, I had a plane to catch the next morning, and I didn’t fancy getting the sharts on a 9 hour flight. I have a fear of loosing my shit on a plane. Literally. A vomit bag just wouldn’t suffice. I’ve heard stories about this and I’ve been haunted for life.

  • Greta  February 26, 2011 at 1:30 am

    That soup looks like the fountain of youth. Yummo.

    • Torre DeRoche  February 28, 2011 at 9:57 am

      It’s so much more delicious than it looks.

  • Kate Kyle  February 26, 2011 at 5:11 am

    it does look beautiful and ymmy and I can understand why you drool, and stop and open your wallet..
    And I’m with you on the topic of parasites, so I put the wallet back in the handbag and get my camera out and snap!

    • Torre DeRoche  February 28, 2011 at 9:57 am

      I did drink a blended strawberry shake full of ice from a market stall. If I was going to contract anything, it probably should’ve been from there.

  • Diana  February 26, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    It’s 9:30AM here in Chicago. I’m reading this & drooling. Guess what I suddenly have a taste for! P.S.I think the beer helps kill the parasites of unknown market stand food. 😉

    • Torre DeRoche  February 28, 2011 at 9:55 am

      Always the answer to everything: drink more beer.

  • Karen  February 27, 2011 at 1:24 am

    Lots of different things going on there – sweet, sour, soft, crunchy – and my stomach says “Yes, yes, yes!!” Today though it will have to settle for a toasted English muffin …
    Great photos.

    • Torre DeRoche  February 28, 2011 at 9:56 am

      Thanks, Karen.

  • Magda  March 1, 2011 at 9:20 am

    Great photos and yummy food! My mouth waters after I looked at this sticky rice with mango!

    • Torre DeRoche  March 1, 2011 at 12:22 pm

      Thanks, Magda. I want me some mango sticky rice right now.

  • crazy sexy fun traveler  March 2, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    Very nice photos! Where is some food now please?!

  • Alep  March 4, 2011 at 8:46 am

    I want tzum tzumo’this inabun!

    • Torre DeRoche  March 4, 2011 at 9:50 am

      Is it worth it? Let me work it.

  • jill- Jack and Jill Travel The World  March 13, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Looove Thai food. Unfortunately sticky mango rice doesn’t seem to be very common here in the Bay Area. Haven’t had one since we moved here.

    • Torre DeRoche  March 13, 2011 at 10:05 pm

      There must be at least one place that has it: SF has everything.

  • Sarah Got A Passport  March 30, 2011 at 12:40 am

    Identifying the unidentifiable market stand foods
    Photo #1 = loog chin ping = grilled fish/beef/pork balls…great with a sweet chili dipping sauce
    Photo #2 = kai nok kra ta = quail eggs made using a special kanom krok (coconut pudding dessert) pan
    Photo #3 = I’m not sure! fish?

    • Torre DeRoche  March 30, 2011 at 12:43 am

      I could’ve used you!! Those quail eggs sound delicious.


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