A trip around a vegetable market of a North East Thailand town

(Click on the images to enlarge)

The particular market in which these images were captured is in Surin, a town in Isaan, North East Thailand. The market operates most of the day but this particular section opens at around four in the morning and has more or less dispersed by mid morning.

The images were captured between 6:00 and 6:30 am.
Map of Lower Isaan

The notorious prik kee noo chilies (mouse droppings chili) in their various stages of ripening. Green, yellow, orange and finally red when they are fully ripe. They are the hottest chilies found in Thailand and can vary between 100,000 and 250,000 SHU's on the Scoville Scale

Kafir Lime Leaf (bai ma kround)
An aromatic hourglass shaped leaf which imparts a sharp lime flavour to dishes, particularly tom yam. They can be finely shredded and added to salads or torn and added to soups or curries. 

Galangal (khar)
Although originally native to Java, Indonesia, galangal is used extensively in Thai cookery. Although resembling ginger it has a more earthy aroma and pine-like flavour.

Traders set out their produce for sale:
Left to right, green gourd (phuk), pennywart (pak wen), Chinese mushrooms (hed khone), yard long beans (thua fak yao) and green, unripe pumpkins (faktong)

Anaheim chilies (prik)
 A mild and somewhat sweet chili for the Thai palate. The anaheim chili measures between 500 and 2,500 SHUs on the Scoville Scale.

Lemon grass (tah khrai)
One of the main ingredients of Thailand's famous tom yam soups. The bulb is bruised or crushed in a mortar prior to cooking to release the flavour. The stem is generally finely chopped or sliced.

Chinese radish (shai thow)
Although can be eaten raw in salads, the Thais 
usually cook the radish in soups.
Betel nut (maak) and betel leaf (poo)
 The nut is broken and chewed with the leaf coated in lime. Mainly used by elderly women as a mild euphoric stimulant.


Coconut (ma prow)
Custard apple (noi nah)
Limes (manow)
Pandan leaves (bai toey)

Sapota fruit (la moud)
The fruit has a coarse brown skin covering it's sweet golden-tinged non-acidic innards

Small egg plant (mak rhua)
The raw fruit can have a bitter taste but, when cooked, becomes tender and develops a rich flavour. Salting and then rinsing the sliced egg plant  will soften and remove much of the bitterness
Small egg plant
(mak rhua)
Small tomatoes
(mak rhua thed)

Chilies (prik)
Okra (krachiap)Lotus stems (sai bua)
Green pumpkin
(fak tong)
Winged bean
(thua phou)
Gherkin (taeng wah)
Egg plant
(mak rhua)
(dawk slid)
Small egg plant
(mak rhua)
Bitter gourd

More Chilies (prik)
Thais probably eat more chilies per head than any other country in the world. There are very few Thai dishes that don't include chilies. The ones shown here are the normal Thai chilies and record between 50,000 and 100,000 SHUs on the Scoville Scale

Chilies and Yardlong beans (fak thua)

Mangoes, sour unripe (ma muang)
Can be eaten raw with dipping sauce or shredded for salads

Green chili dip
(click for recipe)

Winged bean (thua phou)
Can be eaten raw with a spicy dipping sauce or cooked in soups
Small pumpkin
(fak tong)
Commonly used in Thai deserts but can be used in savoury dishes.

Dipping Sauce
(click for recipe)
Young cumcumbers (taeng kwa) and Yardlong beans (fak thua)

Tuna Fish (pla hang khaeng)
Different prices for different sizes
Chinese radish (shai thow),
Galangal root (khar),
(buab) and
small Pumpkin (fak thong)

Dragonfruit (khow mangorn)
Sellin at Bht 25.00 per kilo (70 cents)

Chinese cabbage (phakard khao)
and normal Cabbage (kalam pli)

Squash (buab), Bottle Squash (fak thong) and
small Aubergines (mak ruah)

Guava (farang), Gherkins (taeng kwa) and Aubergines (mak ruah)
Kale (phak khana)

Being prepared for sale

Coriander Leaf (phak shi). The leaves have a taste similar to parsley but with citrus-like overtones. Chopped coriander leaves are generally used as a garnish on cooked dishes. As heat diminishes their flavour quickly, coriander leaves are often used raw or added to the dish immediately before serving.

Frogs (ghop)
Frogs are a favourite source of meat in North East Thailand, particularly amongst the Laos peoples. The frogs are kept alive but their legs are broken to prevent them escaping. They are also skinned alive to ensure maximum freshness,

(click for recipe)

It is evidence of how important Chilies (prik)
are to Thai cuisine by the quantities that
 are for sale even by this lone trader
Rice (khow)
In many varieties

Chinese mushrooms
(hed khone)

Barbequed Squid (pla muek lek)

Pilot fish (pla salid) and
Serpenthead fish
(pla shonn)
Racked in the sun for drying

Chinese Chives (dok gui chai)
The stem and flower have a distinctive strong aroma and are rich in Vitamin A and fibre

Virtually every edible leaf which grows in Thailand is eaten or used to flavour Thai dishes. For sale here are:

Spring onion
(tonh homm)
Thai parsley leaf
(phak shi farang)

Thai celery leaf
(khuen shai)

Mint leaf
(bai saranae)

Coriander leaf
(phak shi)

Spring onion
(tonh homm)

Kaffir lime leaf
(bai ma kround).

Laos parsley leaf
(phak shi laos)

(pla tatim)
A white fish that can be cooked in a variety of ways in Thai cuisine

Parsley leaf (phak shi farang) and
Kaffir lime leaves (bai ma kround)

Lotus stems (sai bua)
Lotus stems are a valuable soutce of iron. They may be chopped or sliced for use in salads or ground into a paste for fried or boiled dishes.
Shitake mushrooms (hed hom sot)
Green peppercorns (prik thai khiao)
The berries grown in spikey clusters on vines and are harvested when the berries are immature. They offer a fresher flavour and less pungency than black peppercorns or white peppercorns
Mangosteen fruit (mang khoud)
Broccoli (proccoli) and
(dawk kalam)

(click for recipe)

Sweet basil (bai horapha)
The plant tastes a little like anise with a strong pungent sweet smell. In Thai recipes it is generally added at the last moment as cooking destroys the flavour quickly.

Pad Kapow Gai
(click for recipe)

Shredded galangal (khar)
cowslip creeper flower (dok katchon)

Betel nut leaves (poo)
Lemongrass (tah krai)

Kale (prah khana)

Holy basil
(bai khrapow)

Kaffir lime leaves
(bai ma kround)

Coriander leaf
(phak shi)

Spring onions
(tonh homm)


(pak wen)

Watermelon (taeng mo)

Rambutan fruit (gnaw)
Bitter pea eggplant (mak rhua)
Longan (lam yai)

Dragon fruit (khow mangom)
Custard apple (noi nah)
Sapota (la moud)

Dragon Fruit (khow mangom)
The fruit can weight between 150 and 600 grams
 and the flesh, which is eaten raw, is mildly sweet
and low in calories. Eating the fruit is
sometimes likened to that of the kiwifruit
due to the presence of sesame seed-sized
black crunchy seeds found in the flesh which
make for a similar texture upon consumption.

Thai Chili pastes (prik kaeng)
The pastes come in many varieties the main ones being:

Green chili paste               Red chili paste
(click for recipes)

Barbequed Pork sausage (sai krawk moo)
with chopped Cabbage

The Som Tam Stall
(click for recipe)

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Map of Surin
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Building a house in ThailandDwyle FlonkingElephant Round-up
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