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Eating Street Food in Sakon Nakhon

If you are visiting Sakon Nakhon and aren’t eating the street food, then you simply aren’t living. Thai street food often is the best cuisine to be found in Thailand (and the world), as well as the cheapest. Many tourists and expats shy away from Thai street food because of fears of getting a little sick. That fear is legitimate to a degree, especially if you have a sensitive stomach. However, that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying one of Thailand’s great pleasures.

Sakon Nakhon street food is not “dirty” (at most stalls). It is only that your stomach isn’t use to the same strains of bacteria that are found in Thailand. Our recommendation is always to just jump right in and start eating Thai street food immediately, so that your body can get accustomed to any bugs. Diarrhea can be uncomfortable but it is easily and very cheaply treated over the counter.

How to you choose the best Thai street food vendors in Sakon Nakhon? That is easy. Don’t choose the stall or roadside shop that looks the nicest and best maintained to your eyes. You simply don’t know what to look for when sizing up the facilities of a Thai street food stall. The only thing you need to look for is how many customers are eating there. Thais are very finicky about where they eat street food in Thailand. They have no strong allegiances. They will always choose the one who makes the best food.

You therefore want to be choosing those food stalls and roadside shops which have the most customers. However, there is one exception to this rule. If you are visiting a rural roadside noodle stand or “Food Follows Order” (อาหารตามสั่ง) shop like we recommended in our Best Noodle Shop in Sakon Nakhon business listing, these have a much smaller customer base to draw from and will sometimes be totally empty, even though the food is top notch.

For our learn Thai language lesson today, we are going discuss a Thai dish that is popular among foreigners except for one aspect of its preparation. When you are doing a survey of Thai street food, you will likely see a stall with a large side of pork on a cutting board. This stall is serving khâo khăh mŏo (ข้าวขาหมู), which is sliced pork leg or shoulder over rice, served with a delicious Thai dipping sauce and chunks of garlic. One thing to keep in mind is that most Thais love fat and the pork that is placed on top the white rice often includes large pieces of fat.

If you would rather not eat roasted fat, you can order this Thai dish very easily with only meat. This is what to say to the Sakon Nakhon street food vendor selling khâo khăh mŏo:

ขอข้าวขาหมูครับ พิเศษ ไม่เอามันนะ เนื้ออย่างเดียว

Khăw khâo khăh mŏo khráp. Phí-sàyt. Mâi ao man ná. Néua yàhng-dio.

Request rice leg pork (polite). Special. Not want fat (soften). Meat only.

I would like a large plate of Khao Kha Moo. No fat please. Just meat.

To learn how to pronounce our English transliteration of Thai correctly, please visit our Thai/English Pronunciation Guide.

Learn Thai Food Tip: Note in the above lesson on street food that the Thai word phí-sàyt (พิเศษ) literally means special but in the context of food ordering it means a large order. Usually street vendors will have two prices posted, one for a regular size plate and the other for the large (phí-sàyt) order.

Some tourists may not feel the large order is sufficient for their hearty appetite. If that is the case, instead of saying phí-sàyt, you could say how much you want to pay. If you order a 70 baht plate of khâo khăh mŏo, you should be more than satisfied.