Thai street food here we come
In two weeks we're back to Thailand for 8 days, jetting straight into sweaty, steamy, smoky, bustling Bangkok for a couple of days of warmth and excitement, and then onwards to Chiang Rai in the chilly North.
Here in Da Nang we've been hovering around the 16 to 19 degrees C mark, which is far from my favourite temperature.
Chiang Rai has more of the same, but Bangkok is a much happier 30 degrees which both of us need badly.
I'm missing my fix of Thai street food.
We both are. Even though we cook great Thai at home, there's nothing like being seduced by smells, sights and tastes whenever you head out of the house.
I have yet to find a country with the depth of flavour, variety and freshness that you find on most Thai city streets.
While I'm enjoying my Pho, Banh Mi Thit, Banh Xeo and banana flower salads here in Vietnam I feel a sort of mourning for the loss of my always prevalent tasty Thai street food.
Here we have a steamed bun vendor, a baguette vendor and a couple of elderly motorbike hooligans that troll the streets at 20 km/hr with a tinny monotonous recording offering clumpy overcooked bags of short grain sticky rice and waxy white sweet corn.
For other street food, we can go into Da Nang City a few kilometers away where there is slightly more variety, but still lacking in flavour compared to a jaunt through Bangers.
For those giddying extremes of hot, sweet, sour and salty that one becomes addicted to in Thailand, one has to beg and cajole here in Da Nang.
If they are available, the flavours come out as condiments that you add to the dish yourself at the table.
It's not the same.
I like the roller coaster of taste and emotion that Thai food inspires. A party in the mouth.
Today and over the next couple of days I'll post some pics of Thai street food to get myself back in the mood.
Love these jumbo river prawns or "Goong Mai Nam" Just barbecued, and served with nam jim.
Found on the street, at makeshift seafood places that spring up in carparks, and also markets, restaurants and more.
Grilled bananas. How many ways would you like them?
Crispy pork or Moo Krob is just as addictive as Heroin. Perhaps more so.
It's also hell on your teeth.
Are you religious? Then that's why your God invented dental floss.
Suck it up, and keep chewing. It's just delicious.
Thai tea, made with black tea dust
This cannot be described. It has to be drunk. Guzzled. Wallowed in.
This is REALLY nice. Both versions are great – with canned milk , ice, condensed milk or sugar, or just with ice and lime.
The 'black tea dust' has a deep reddish hue and a memorable flavour like no other.
The Holy Trinity. Som Tam green papaya salad, Gai yang barbecued marinated chicken, and khao nieow white sticky rice.
This is your classic 'som tam lady' and you'll find her within walking distance of almost every Soi in Thailand.
Healthy and tasty.
Fresh green unripe mango.
Take your pick of plain sliced mango with seasoned salt – or tossed with a roasted dry chilli dressing.
Tart, resinous and a bit exotic with a good mango tang.
The salt is an acquired taste