Thailand – Chiang Rai – a walk around the Morning Market

There are several markets in Chiang Rai but probably the most important is the Morning Market which you’ll find on the block between Trairat, Uttarakit and Suk Sathit roads. The main entrance is on Suk Sathit.

I love wandering around markets trying to identify all the ingredients.

These medium-sized red and green chillis are called Phrik Chi Fa, as opposed to the smaller Bird’s Eye chillis which are Phrik Khi Nu.

Here we have, from top left with the yellow flowers, Phak Kwangtung (or what we in the UK would call Chinese flowering cabbage, Choy Sum), Phak Khana (Chinese broccoli or Gai Lan), Phak Bung (water spinach or Morning Glory), two kinds of Phak Chi (coriander), Gui Chai (scallions) and some more coriander (you can never have too much).

The small variety of Morning Glory is known as Phak Bung Na and is usually eaten raw with Som Tam or with Nam Phrik. The larger variety above is Phak Bung Chin which is usually stir-fried or put in soups.

Avocados (introduced by missionaries in the 1990s) are given the phonetic name Xā Wo Khā Do.

Pineapples are called Sapparot.

Makhuea Pro are Thai aubergines.

Not sure what these are. I don’t think they are Pea Aubergines of Jujubes. Any ideas?

Many kinds of rice. Hom Mali (Jasmine) Khao Neow (sticky rice) are the most common varieties.

Giant freshwater prawns, known as Koong Mae Nam or Koong Ghram Gram in Thailand.

Some bizarre-looking Pla Tuu, or Thai mackerel.

Toa Hu (tofu) comes in many varieties. I think this is Tau Hu (firm tofu) wrapped in banana leaves.

Two kinds of Nam Phrik amongst many. Perhaps its the northern Nam Phrik Ong.

This is Pak Gard Dong (pickled mustard greens).

No idea what the big lump at the top is sorry.

The wood at the bottom is known in Lao as Mai Sakaan which is best translated into English as ‘spicy chilli wood‘. It’s a species of black pepper plant but the spicy flavour is found in the bark. It features a lot in Lao cuisine as well see in a later post.

Don’t know the Thai name sorry but in English these are bamboobores, also known as bamboo worms! Eating insects is a thing in Thailand if you didn’t know. You can buy them ready to eat; deep-fried and salted. Bamboobores are quite neutral tasting apparently, like popcorn.

You can get other snacks here too. Sausages are very popular in the north and there are many types.

This is sticky rice with mango steamed in a banana leaf.

And there’s a couple of sit down stalls for noodle soups.

Just wish I had a kitchen here! It’s definitely time to eat…

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