Hawaii has a lot of amazing food, but I still prefer Thai. Living in Thailand I’ve been privileged to have eaten some amazing new food. Here are five of my favorites. The fruits are not specifically Thai – but we have them here. You can probably find the Thai fruits at your local China town.
1. Pad Thai – this has noodles, scrambled egg, scallions, bean sprouts, lemon, shrimp and other amazing ingredients packed into one delicious meal. I add some fish oil (salty fish oil) with garlic, lemon, and chilis that really makes Pad Thai one of the ultimate Thai foods.
2. Tom Kha Gai – A chicken soup with coconut milk, lemongrass, and straw mushrooms that I like about the same as the very popular Tom Yum Goong or Tom Yum Gai soups.
3. Rambutan – a golf ball sized fruit with an almond like seed in the center. Pop the whole thing in your mouth and chew the flesh off around the seed. Spit seed.
This fruit looks like it came from Pluto (not a planet) but it’s one of the most amazing tasting fruits I’ve ever had. We buy them buy the kilogram for about 65 cents.
I wrote all about rambutan because I love it so much.
4. Durian – this fruit can grow as large as a basketball, but usually are smaller than an indoor volleyball. They have very sharp points on them – and you might mistake them for a weapon rather than a fruit.
If you walk by a table of these you might mistake the area for an outdoor restroom. Yes, the smell like… well. Rotten eggs is being too kind. The smell can knock someone over that isn’t ready for it. I had an open mind when I tried it the first time – and you know what? It is one of the sweetest, most amazing textured and delicious fruits I’ve ever eaten.
Some Thais love this so much that they eat it until they die. No joke – it’s bad for the body if taken in large quantities – not sure why…
5. Som Tam – if you like salad and you’re looking for something different you might just enjoy this dish, it’s considered THE national dish of Thailand and is loved by many foreigners (myself included) as well. They shave unripe papaya into a bowl and add chilies, palm sugar, lemon, green beans, peanuts, garlic, fish oil, and bla-rah if you ask for it. I do.
Bla-rah is fermented fish or crab sauce – with fish or crab ‘parts’. Supposedly it ferments for a year, but probably nobody keeps it that long anymore, it sells too fast. They are supposed to boil the sauce to kill parasites and things – but, sometimes they don’t.
Here’s my wife’s Thai food cooking blog som tam in four languages page >
What are the best Thai food restaurants to eat at in Hawaii? On Oahu? Maui?
All images © Apornpradab Buasi.