Fish Stomach Soup

I’ve been here awhile, but I still feel I have lots of adventures ahead. There is still so much food in Bangkok I want to try. My coworkers, Joob and Parn, wanted to take me to China Town and show me all of the best spots to grab some street food and give me a quick tour of the area.

Photo by Brian Brindza

Photo by Brian Brindza

They were very helpful and excited to go show me their favorite foods. We left work and headed down to China Town just as the sun was setting. This is when all the vendors start setting up. When we pulled up you can tell this was not the same as the rest of Bangkok. All the menus were in Chinese and the atmosphere and smells were completely different than what I have become used to.

There were huge banners with dragons and neon signs lining the street. We walked up and down the streets looking at all of the small local shops selling every dried fish, meat, fruit and vegetable one can imagine. We turned down a small Soi (side street) and walked down an alley that was lined with different food stands selling a mix of Thai and Chinese street food. My coworkers and I grabbed a table and took a look at the menu. We ordered a mix of both cuisines starting with some hot plates of Kua Kai, Suki, and  Kra pao pla for the Thai portion. Next, we moved on to some Chinese soups and noodle dishes of Kuay Jab and Fish Maw (Fish Stomach Soup).

Photo by Brian Brindza

Photo by Brian Brindza

The Fish Maw was very interesting but it didn’t look appetizing at all to me. It was slimy and had what looked to be pork rinds in it. As I was moving it around I realized that is was just some tapioca starch that made it look like slime and the pork rinds were actually the dried fish stomach. I decided what doesn’t kill me makes me look adventurous! I dove in with a huge slimy bite and was pleasantly surprised. It was an amazing little treat with soft, delicious, fish stomach married with an assortment of crispy crunchy….things! I still don’t know what they were.

In any case, I was an instant fan and slurped the whole bowl down. I was getting full but not too full for dessert. After a light stroll to help digest some food we ended up sitting at a small little dessert stand that had “goodies” that didn’t look at all like anything resembling a dessert in the States. There was one that appeared to be a hot soup with vegetables and dumplings. Another one had ice cold lotus root with some additional very strange sorts of things included. They weren’t bad, just very different to me and my palate. I had a fun and very interesting time with my coworkers so, very happy to have such great guides. With our bellies full we jumped on a Tuk Tuk and headed home.

Posted in: Chef Brian Culinary Exchange

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