Thai food is famous for its heat, but in northern Thailand, particularly in the Chiang Mai district, influences from Burma and China are noticeable. As a result, curries are milder and other ingredients like ginger and turmeric are used more prominently. Continue reading to see the 10 best street foods in Chiang Mai, Thailand that you should not miss out on.
1. Khao Soi
Khao Soi, a curry noodle dish, is one of Chiang Mai’s adoptive specialties, originally from Myanmar and Laos. Khao Soi’s wet curry paste is made with locally sourced roots, rhizomes, seeds, spices, and herbs, then slow-cooked with chicken and hand-cut egg noodles – at least in the traditional versions – and topped with crunchy noodles.
2. Sai Ua
This traditional Chiang Mai street snack consists of a Thai sausage infused with local spices and herbs such as lemongrass, kaffir lime, and galangal, and paired with Thailand’s signature red chilli paste.
Suki is a Thai variation of hot pot, a Chinese and Japanese communal dish consisting of meat, seafood, noodles, and vegetables dipped into a shared pot of broth cooking tableside. The resulting suki has a distinct Thai flavour, with chilli, lime, coriander, and a spicy dipping sauce.
4. Kai Yang
Kai yang literally translates to “grilled chicken,” but the variations of this classic, savoury Isaan staple are often unique to a single vendor based on the marinade and trimmings. The dish originated in Laos and is typically prepared with fish sauce, garlic, turmeric, coriander, and white pepper, but some chefs prepare it with lemongrass, ginger, black soy sauce, or hoisin sauce.
5. Laab Khua
This pungent and smoky mincemeat salad – often made of duck, chicken, or even liver – originated in Laos before making its way to the streets of Northern Thailand. It’s usually served in a set with papaya salad and sticky rice.
6. Khao Kha Mu
This simple-sounding dish of pork leg over rice is anything but. Street stalls across the country have claimed to have perfected the dish, promising complex flavours, perfectly tender meat, and fragrant rice. Whether you prefer a smokier flavour or a juicier texture, this is a popular Thai street food.
7. Khanom Jeen Nam Ngiaw
This fermented noodle dish, beloved by Thais across the country, is surprisingly difficult to find due to its difficult preparation. The fermentation of the noodles gives this curry-like dish a sweet and sour punch.
This Thai-style rice porridge is a popular local dish. It’s a savoury blend of cooked rice, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, and meats such as pork, chicken, or fish that’s commonly served for breakfast.
9. Kanom Kroke
This traditional Thai dessert is made with a coconut, egg, and rice flour batter that is fried on a hot skillet to produce a chewy and sweet dumpling dessert. It can be eaten plain or topped with corn, sweet potato, or chives.
10. Sticky Rice
Thailand has several types of sticky or glutinous rice, which are usually wrapped in banana leaves. Some are combined with fruits, coconut, violet rice, beans, or egg custard. On occasion, artificial colours are added to the rice.