If you’re grabbing street food for you and your children, one of the main priorities is finding a vendor that’s serving fresh food in a clean setting. But then there’s that other big consideration: what dishes are the best options for the kids?
It all obviously depends on their age and taste preferences, but certain foods seem to prove popular across the board. Here’s a selection of 6 favourites you’ll find in Bangkok markets, street stalls and food courts.
1. Moo Ping (grilled pork)
These small grilled pork skewers are not only incredibly cheap but bring the winning combination of being seriously delicious and easy for little ones to handle. Marinated in a sweet glaze and grilled over hot coals, moo ping is just about the perfect kind of street food for kids, and it’s one of Bangkok’s most readily available street snacks. For something a little more substantial, order a side portion of sticky rice – a common moo ping accompaniment.
2. Roti Gluay (banana pancakes)
The heavenly combination of sweet banana and buttery pancake is a flavour sensation and pretty much a hit with anyone who tries it. It’s also one of the most child-friendly snacks you’re likely to find on the street. Once the pancake has been fried up it’s topped with sugar and drizzled with condensed milk. Admittedly not the healthiest of street food dishes you’re going to find, but as an occasional indulgent treat it takes some beating.
3. Khao Man Gai (chicken rice)
Served by vendors across the city, khao man gai is a simple but tasty dish that’s a great go-to option for anyone with children. Slices of soft chicken are served over a bed of rice that’s cooked in the fatty chicken broth. The dish generally comes served with a small bowl of chicken stock, slices of cucumber and a slightly spicy dipping sauce – although this can obviously left aside depending on your child’s age and chilli tolerance levels.
4. Joke (rice soup)
Similar to Chinese congee, the mellow flavours of joke make it an ideal choice for younger children in particular. It’s made by boiling down rice into an almost porridge-like consistency, then flavoured with garlic, ginger and fish sauce. An egg, minced pork, chicken, shrimp or liver can also be added to bulk out and add flavour to this warming, hearty dish. Joke is mostly commonly available in the mornings.
5. Pad Thai (stir-fried rice noodles)
Needing no introduction, Pad Thai is a dish that has leapt to prominence in Thai restaurants abroad. But did you know that this dish was introduced by the government after WWII to help revive the economy by promoting local ingredients and kick-starting a rice noodle industry? History aside, it’s a hearty and balanced dish that can be customized to everyone’s liking (with or without shrimp, chicken, tofu, bean sprouts, egg, etc.).
6. Khao Niaow Ma Muang (Mango and sticky rice)
There can’t be many desserts in the world that make fruit taste this good. A mound of sticky rice gets topped with slices of ripe yellow mango and sweetened coconut milk, which is occasionally sprinkled with toasted split mung beans for extra crunch and flavour. This hugely popular Thai dessert is the kind of street food snack that frequently proves a big hit with children. It’s most readily available during the mango season from April to May.