I met backpackers who thought that pancakes and fruit plates are Thai food and their only acquaintance with real Thai food was Pad Thai and noodle soup. Both are fine, but if you not go out and try to eat all these delicious dishes that are around, you really miss something. Eating plays a major role in the average Thais life and sharing a meal with friends is an experience not to miss. Finding food is no problem. Any time of the day you find street vendors or small restaurants on the street.
Last night we went out for Jim Jum, a kind of soup prepared at the table in an earthen ware pot on charcoal fire.
If you go to a place where the specialize in Jim Jum, the main selection you have to make is the sort of meat you want to add. You order beef, pork, seafood or organ per chute. It will be served raw on a plate together with a basket containing sweet Thai basil leaves, cabbage and glass noodles and spring onion ( combination of vegetables can vary a little bit) and you add it to the boiling broth yourself. Every restaurant has its own recipes for the sauces you later add to your food. Some are very spicy, especially the combination of lime juice, garlic and chilies while others are milder or even sweet. Usually you get three different kinds of sauces.
When the soup is boiling you first add the vegetables and stir with your chop sticks. This will lower the temperature in the pot a little and you better wait until it boils again before you add the meat. The meat comes in thin slices and is ready within a minute.
Now all you have to master is to fish the now slippery noodles and other ingredients out of the pot with your chopsticks, add you favorite sauce and enjoy. The soup becomes richer the more meat and vegetables are boiled in it and is best at the end.
Tip: As you can not regulate the temperature of the fire under the pot, if it gets too hot, add some of the ice that normally is served in a small bucket with your drinks.
Tags: Thailand, Thai food, jim jum