Search
Close this search box.
, ,

The Feast of Chatuchak Market

The marketplace was love at first sight for me. Being an avid foodie, a market which had splendorous food shops spread over more than two
Chatuchak Market Bangkok
Bookmark (0)

Mohua and her partner is on a trip to Thailand, exploring the sights, sounds, aroma and tastes of the vibrant city. Read the First Episode here.

***

Thailand was introduced to me first through the seaside city of Pattaya. So, we entered Bangkok with the wonderful experience that we had in Pattaya and expected that it would only get better the more time we spent in Thailand. Our aim was to see as much of Bangkok as we could. My niece, who works there, left no stones unturned and directed us to all the right places as we did not know many that existed. Chatuchak Market was one of them. My ROI (return of investment) travel partner had drawn up a list of 54 places not considering that we would be there only for 72 hours! 

As soon as we completed our hotel registrations and other booking protocols our niece whisked us away to the Weekend flea market of Chatuchak. 

Chatuchak weekend market in Bangkok
Chatuchak weekend market

Chatuchak- History

In 1938 Field Marshal Plaek Pibunsongkhram became the third Prime Minister of Thailand. After working on the town planning, it was decided that the city should have a flea market where the local traders can sell their products, build their business and boost the local economy. The only way a good flea market could be arranged which could involve a good number of traders was to keep it open only during weekends. So the market was born and the first flea market was established at the centre of Bangkok City at Saranrom Palace. After changing the venue thrice in the last 40 years, the market now exists in the Chatuchak area of Bangkok and is known as Chatuchak Market or Jatujak Market. It is one of the largest weekend markets in the world. The market regularly accommodates 200,000 tourists each weekend and has over 15,000 stalls making it the World’s largest weekend market. 

Love at first sight

The marketplace was love at first sight for me. Being an avid foodie, a market which had splendorous food shops spread over more than two hundred outlets was a strong point of attraction for me. The market had a variety of products on display– the most noticeable was the array of shops displaying fashionable clothes. Although MBK & Pratunam Markets had the same display of choicest clothes, we can also add Chatuchak to the list. The entire market is about aesthetics in every sphere of life. There are clothes, accessories, home decoration items, stylish kitchenware and then food. The market has rows of stalls dedicated to gastronomy. Starting from raw fruits, vegetables, pickles, cheese, meat, fish and cooked food. That sums up Chatuchak. My partner had already counted his danger as he was clutching at his wallet and wouldn’t let it go as he was often a victim of my spending habits. But all the shops had Google pay and card payment provision. So, he couldn’t prevent some damage. 

The food and the variety- 

The food and the platters were quite familiar to our Indian palate as they have the spices & sauces which are now quite popular in India courtesy the numerous Thai food outlets. The first thing we tasted is the famous Thai Roti or stuffed pancakes. They seem to have followed me wherever I went in Thailand. Then there were the fruit and vegetable bowls.

Stuffed Thai sweet pancakes
Stuffed Thai sweet pancakes

But the most interesting part was the insect counter. Crispy fried cockroaches, Crickets and bamboo worms and chrysalis were fried and presented in a cone made of leaves with some spices sprinkled on them. I chewed a small portion of the cockroach to the utter disgust and dismay of my travel partner. It was quite similar to a shrimp crispy. But I found shrimp crispies were more palatable to my Bengali taste bud. 

A wide variety of seafood platters including roasted whole squids, baby octopus, crabs, prawns and many more are sold over live counters. I enjoyed these a lot. 

I will however end my discourse here with a mention of a healthy food concoction of Thailand known as Chim Chum or Jim Jum, which means this or that. This dish is believed to have been born in Laos and brought to Thailand  later during the war. The broth is cooked in Nam Jim dipping sauce with meat & seafood and fresh herbs such as galangal, sweet basil, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. It is cooked in a small clay pot over charcoal. To add some carbohydrates, glass noodles are often added to it. A bowl of Chim Chum is a wholesome meal for the hard working locals of Thailand. The taste is salty with a tinge of sweet and lemony flavors added to a meaty palate. 

roasted insects at Chatachuk market
The most interesting part was the insect counter

Today’s recipe: Khanom Buang- Thai Crêpes

100 gm- rice flour
50gm- Split Mung bean flour 

(Wipe the mung beans with a clean cloth and roast them lightly, put out on a pan and let them cool down a bit then powder them in the mixer dry grinder)

125 ml.- water
1 egg
½ tbsp- cocoa powder
3 egg whites
½ cup sugar
3 egg yolks (beaten with ½ cup sugar and a pinch of salt)

Step 1– add 3 egg whites and 1/2 cup of sugar to a jug or bowl and whisk for about 5 to 10 minutes until you are left with a thick cream.

Step 2– Making the crepe batter. Add the water into a mixing bowl, and then add 50g mung bean flour, 100g of rice flour, 1 egg, 150g of sugar, and 1/2 tbsp of cocoa powder to the bowl and whisk together until there are no lumps in the mixture. 

Step 3– Beat the egg yolks and in a non-stick pan spread the batter thin. As soon as they harden a bit, lay them on a plate. Make as many as possible from the batter and slice them in thin strips, like ribbons. 

Step 4– Now let us make the crêpes. In a non-stick frying pan, brush a little butter and spread the batter with a deep ladle. For the people familiar with how the dosa or ‘pithe’ is fried the crêpes are made exactly like that. As soon as the spread hardens a little, take it off the pan. The crêpes are ready. 

Step 5– Now fill up the crêpes with whipped cream and egg yolk ribbons. 

These crepes can both be made with sweet or salty fillings. The sweet recipe is all due to my sweet tooth and love for desserts! Bon Appetit.

Images courtesy: Mohua Roy & Wikipedia

Career Analyst and L&D Consultant who apart from her profession, loves to explore new cultures and specially Food. She works as a Corporate Counsellor who believes travelling and Food can have therapeutic effects on people.

Weekly Newsletter

Enjoy our flagship newsletter as a digest delivered once a week.

By signing up, you agree to our User Agreement and Privacy Policy & Cookie Statement.

Read More

Subscribe to get newsletter and to save your bookmark