Thai Health Food Trends

A lot of people don't realise this but Thailand too is in the clutches of a obesity and diabetes epidemic, well Bangkok is anyway. Which doesn't surprise me in the least given what appears to be a national obsession with the types of sweets and junk food normally reserved in the "West" for pimply teen-aged mall rat white trash, you know the kind of food that Brittney is seen eating at most of her late night gas station runs...except worse. The other day I had to reorder an ice coffee after the woman at the counter added sweetened condensed milk to it, even the untampered ice coffee was sweet enough to give me headache.

Anyway, it seems that it was only a matter of time that Thais turned health conscious so I was rather heartened to find a new vendor on Sukhumvit Soi 11 today in amongst what is normally just a street full of processed sausage stick vendors. I headed down there today to get a chicken noodle fix and right next door was a new vendor with a glass case full of different mushroom varieties. He had a queue. People were lining up for his healthful, meatless mushroom broth or kaeng hed, so I decided to give it a whirl

It was damn good, spicy, bitter, sour and mushroomy



As modern Thai cooking takes yet another turn for the better, bring on the health crisis I say

Mushroom Soup Vendor
Outside of the Ambassador Hotel (usually)
Sukhumvit Soi 11


    Maytel: That dish looks like a veggie version of kaeng liang, a thick soup that some believe is one of the oldest Thai dishes still being made. They do a pretty good version at Baan Chok Man, the place I took you, Hock, Philippe and his family.



    yeah, dunno, it wasn't thick though, it was very soupy, like a clear stock and it had not bitter melon but another type of bitter cucumber and that weedy vegetable that looks a bit like pumpkin leaves. Everyone called it kaeng hed which made sense except it was more of a tom than a kaeng, I guess.


    On second though, it could also very well be something called kaeng laao ('Lao curry'). Were there strips of fresh, crunchy bamboo in it? If so I'll bet that's what it was, as typically kaeng liang isn't sold on the street from stalls, but Lao/Isaan food often is!


    well the chicken noodle vendor with whom I often have painful broken Thai/ broken english discussions with referred to it as Kaeng Hed. If it helps the soup had an ever so slight fish paste taste to it, like prahoc but so mild that it didn't offend my palate. I'm not a big fan of prahoc.

    Or we could just go try it one intriguing soup indeed


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