13 Best Street Food You Must Try In Phuket, Thailand

street food in phuket

Craving for the freshest catch of the day while spending time in Phuket? Then you are definitely in the right place! Since the picturesque island is composed of some of the most famous beaches in Thailand, you can expect to see a lot of local restaurants serving varieties of fish and seafood that are just caught from the nearby bodies of water. But aside from seafood, there are also a plethora of dishes that you can try during your stay on the island. Here are some of the best street food you must try in Phuket, Thailand—to feast upon while enjoying the scenic views of the place.

1. Moo ping (pork satay)

Moo Ping
Source: Photo by user bob walker used under CC BY-SA 2.0

You can easily find this skewered Thai-style grilled pork in just about every corner of Phuket Island. While there are numerous variations of this delicacy, the main sources of its aromatic flavors include pounded garlic, peppers, and coriander roots. It also needs lots of coconut milk to make it moist and tender. It is best eaten with sticky rice and nam chin chaeo (glutinous rice dip) for a complete meal. But it is good eaten on its own too. No matter how you choose to devour it, moo ping could definitely fill you up during your stay on the island.

2. Pad thai (Thai stir fry)

tofu pad thai
Source: Photo by user Stacy Spensley used under CC BY 2.0

No trip to Thailand will be complete without tasting this popular stir-fry noodle dish. It is made using rehydrated dry rice noodles that are stir-fried with diced firm tofu and eggs. To give it a distinct flavor, the dish is seasoned with fish sauce, tamarind pulp, chopped shallots or garlic, dried shrimp, red chile pepper, and palm sugar. It is usually topped with chopped roasted peanuts and served with lime wedges. Some variations serve it with chicken, squid, shrimp, crab, or other animal proteins.

3. Som tam (green papaya salad)

som tam talay
Source: Photo by user Dietrich Ayala used under CC BY 2.0

Another popular Thai dish is made from shredded green or unripened papaya. This is known for exquisitely combining the five main flavors that include sweet (palm sugar), salty, savory (fish sauce), sour (lime), and hot (chili). All the main ingredients are blended and pounded using a mortar to extract all their essence before pouring in the thinly sliced green papaya strips. Aside from the staple ingredients, you can also find som tam with asparagus beans, raw Thai eggplant, and tomatoes. You may even find some versions with fresh seafood on top.

4. Kai jeow (Thai-style fried eggs)

Breakfast @ 06.12.29
Source: Photo by user Hajime NAKANO used under CC BY 2.0

Egg omelet is a staple food in every nation, and Thailand has its own version of this very simple dish. Compared to its French counterpart that is light and creamy, the khai jeow is more crispy on the outside but fluffy inside. Instead of using salt for flavor, this dish gets its umami from fish sauce. It also comes will adequate amounts of sliced scallions to have a standout taste. Take this with a steaming cup of rice and some stir-fried vegetables for a complete and filling meal.

5. Kanom jeeb (Thai steamed dumplings)

Village Steamed Dumplings, Sea Thai Restaurant, Ballys, Las Vegas, NV
Source: Photo by user Haydn Blackey used under CC BY-SA 2.0

With a name that literally means pleated dumpling, these bite-sized treats are a traditional Chinese dish. But the Thai people adopted it and made their own version. Each dumpling is filled will ground pork, chopped shrimps, and chopped water chestnuts. It is seasoned with soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, cilantro paste, and sesame oil. To give it a Thai twist, this dumpling is usually served with a mixture of Thai sweet and chill dipping sauce, black or sweet soy sauce, and regular soy sauce.

6. Khao pad (fried rice)

ข้าวผัดไก่  Thai Fried Rice - Kao Gaeng Thai AUD8.90 - photo by Julia
Source: Photo by user Alpha used under CC BY-SA 2.0

The name literally means fried rice in Thai. It is a very simple dish that can be prepared in as fast as 15 minutes but promises to leave you satisfied every time. The traditional version only needs jasmine rice, garlic, onion, green onion, fish sauce, and a little lime juice, but you can add other ingredients like chicken and seafood. This is normally served with nam pla prik—which is a dipping sauce that is made from chilis and fish sauce and goes with almost everything—and topped with a fried egg.

7. Pla pao (Thai grilled fish)

Chiangmai grilled fish thanin market
Source: Photo by user Takeaway used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Thai people love to eat seafood. This is why this grilled whole fish dish can be considered as one of the most popular meals in the country. The usual variations of this meal use either a red tilapia or snakehead fish that has been cleaned and scaled and stuffed with lemongrass stalks and kaffir lime leaves. The fish is coated with a thick layer of salt and flour mixture to keep it moist while grilling. Then it is grilled for at least 20 minutes and served immediately with nam jim dipping sauce.

8. Khao kha moo (stewed pork leg with rice)

Kao Ka Moo
Source: Photo by user Charles Haynes used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Khao kha moo is a very popular street food all over Thailand. In fact, even Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej consider this as one of his all-time favorite meal. This stewed pork shank is known for its salty-sweet flavor that kids and kids at heart will love. Aside from the flavourful broth, this dish is also packed with lots of nutrients that come from the boiled egg and pickled vegetables served on the side.

9. Kuey teow (Thai noodle soups)

Chicken noodle soup
Source: Photo by user Jeremy Keith used under CC BY 2.0

The Hokkien term kway teow means “flat rice noodles,” but Thai people use it when talking about their local noodle soup. This noodle dish is usually served with one or two types of meat. If you want pork, you can order kway teow moo, or ask for kway teow gai if you want chicken. There are also different variations of the broth. The kway teow nam sai refers to plain noodle soup with clear broth made from either chicken, beef, or pork stock. On the other hand, the kway teow tom yam is a dish made with clear both but seasoned with sweet chili paste, lime juice, chill powder, fish sauce, sugar, and crushed peanuts. Whatever you choose, a bowl of kway teow can definitely warm your heart and tummy.

10. Gai yang / Kai yang (Thai grilled chicken)

Somtam kaiyang khaoniaow
Source: Photo by user Takeaway used under CC BY-SA 3.0

This simple grilled chicken dish is a staple in all street-food markets in Phuket and all over Thailand. It is usually marinated with numerous spices like cilantro, turmeric, garlic, fish sauce, and white pepper before cooking in an open flame. It originally hails from Laos, but Thais now enjoy eating this with steaming-hot sticky rice and a serving of green papaya salad. Other versions serve this with sliced raw vegetables and dipped in different spicy sauces.

11. Thai pancakes

Khanom khrok
Source: Photo by user Takeaway used under CC BY-SA 3.0

There are actually several types of pancakes that you can buy in Phuket and other areas of Thailand. One is called khanom bueang—or crispy pancakes. This type of sweet or savory street snack resembles the appearance of mini tacos. Another popular Thai pancake is known as khanom khrok—or coconut rice pancakes. It is usually made using a salty and a sweet batter and cooked using a heating mantle or a type of indented frying pan. Since it is made with coconut milk, each piece of khanom khrok is fragrant and has a very smooth texture. Both these treats are readily available on the streets.

12. Pok pok (Thai ice cream sandwich)

thaice cream
Source: Photo by user istolethetv used under CC BY 2.0

Because of the sweltering heat on the streets of Phuket, tourists would turn to ice cream to give them a much-needed refreshment. But since you are in Thailand, you must do what the locals do and order a serving of pok pok—the famous Thai ice cream sandwich. Unlike the ones bought in ice cream retail shops worldwide, which offer a scoop of vanilla ice cream in between two pieces of chocolate cookies, the pok pok comes with several scoops of any flavored ice cream in between bread. You can also find other accompaniments like fruit slices, rice, peanuts, and a drizzle of condensed milk. It may sound odd at the beginning, but one bite will surely take you to the ice cream heavens.

13. Thai meatballs and sausages

thai  market 013
Source: Photo by user Erik Totten used under CC BY 2.0

Thai people love to munch food on the streets. They would buy different food items that were prepared and cooked by the sidewalks or from roving food carts. Among the most in-demand street-food options are mouthwatering Thai meatballs. Each piece made with either pork, chicken, or beef is bursting with flavors coming from the signature spices of the country. These include kaffir lime, lemongrass, Thai chili powder, and coriander. Other street favorites are Thai sausages like the sai oua, naem, and the sai krok isan. These bite-sized sausages may be small, but they are packed with flavor. You will never miss these as you walk along the streets all over the country.

Enjoy your Phuket trip with the best street food you can find

The most memorable getaways always involve the local food in your destination. Since you are in one of the most tourist-friendly tropical areas in the country, you must never miss the opportunity to search for the best street food you must try In Phuket, Thailand. This will make your island vacation something that you will never forget for a long time.

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Shiena's love for travel began after following her late grandpa's advice, which is to "travel all you can, while you still can." After backpacking around Asia when she was still single, she is now...Read more

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