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Food carts can be delicious!

By Christopher Sujarit
Food carts are the proud lifeline for all the No-So’s (normal society) folk of Thailand, and they still possess that special sense of foodie adventurism. If it’s that time of the month where you’re stretching your baht thin like noodles, there is still excitement, joy, and a full stomach to be had. Enter YinYang Food Corner, Okonomiyaki Cart, and FatThin Steak.
YinYang Food Corner serves Cantonese style street food, including Sukiyaki, Sweet and Sour Pork, Ginger and Wine Chicken, Fried Fish, Spicy Squid, and Red Pork Noodles (a gourmet spin on Moo Daeng). The owner hails from Singapore, and his wife, who speaks perfect English, is the cook. A normal serving of specialties costs 50, while a large portion is 80. Beer is served, and the cook is friendly and helpful. YinYang has actual proper comfortable seating inside a storefront, with a clean bathroom. (Huay Kaew and Canal Road, on Soi Chang Khian behind the Ibis Styles Hotel). If you live near the area, this may become your daily meal spot. Fresh pickles and homemade Thai chili paste are on the table. Recommended menu: Sweet and Sour Pork.
Okonomiyaki Cart is almost too good to be true- authentic, tasty Japanese food at 30THB a dish… but it does exist! Sitting slyly right where MoonMuang turns into Sripoom, Okonomiyaki Cart is blessing Chiang Mai with Yakitori, Gyoza, Teriyaki Rice, Curry Rice, and Fried Octopus Balls. Okonomiyaki is Japanese “pizza” and translates to “cooked the way you like.” It’s basically a grilled omelette/pancake stuffed with green onion, cabbage, meats, veggies, and beansprouts- some even come stuffed with noodles. It is nothing short of “high- five” delicious and serves as my guilty pleasure when I need some Zen in my belly. Try the 3-dish for 100THB special; if you eat this alone I won’t judge. Recommended Menu: Chicken Yakitori, Gyoza, Okonomiyaki.
In Asia, steak is often a misnomer. FatThin Steak doesn’t serve filet mignons or rib-eyes, but this food cart offers homemade platters of pork chops and sausages, served with a side salad and either fries or onion rings. A satisfying square meal for under 60THB is what you crave a deviation from rice and noodles. One chef is chubby while the other is skinny, and the matron of FatThin speaks perfect English and is very friendly. For the hungriest hippos, a steak platter and an additional side will be more than enough, bringing the total to under 100THB. FatThin comes closest to the American diner-style Denny’s meal. They also serve freshly deep fried Chicken Nuggets, Salads, Dory Fish Filets, and Tuna Salads. Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce on the table. Located on Canal Road between Huay Kaew and Suthep, next to Hub53 Hotel. Recommended Menu: Pork Steak with BBQ sauce, Onion Rings, Side Salad, or Chicken Nuggets.
So, when it comes to food, you should never settle for survival; thrive and indulge. YinYang Food Corner, Okonomiyaki Cart, and FatThin Steak fulfill that comfortable niche between cheap and cheerful and are a delicious steal. Enjoy!


RECIPES BY NOI: Deep fried chicken wings with chili paste

One of the easiest dishes but so easily forgotten are deep fried chicken wings and Chili paste (Peek Kai Tod Nam Pla and Nam Prik Ta Dang). The wings marinated in fish sauce for a few hours and then deep fried. Make sure the oil is hot but not smoking. You don’t want to overcook the outside! I leave the skin on, it adds more flavor.
Then ‘Nam Prik Ta Dang’, key ingredients besides the chilis and garlic are are roasted sundried fish and shrimp and a bit of tamarind, pound together in your mortar. It is very common to see Thai people eat this or other spicy chili pastes with every meal. For us it’s just like ketchup or mayonnaise on your dining table.

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