It would be so great if we had a stomach so big that we didn’t have to skip anything during our two days eating spree in Petchaburi.
Having heard so much about the glorious food of this town, we managed to stay overnight at this historic province once a royal summer residence during the reign of King Rama IV. Their famous delicacies include ‘Khao Chae,’ the chilled rice served with some savoury sides. While in Bangkok you’ll need to wait until the summertime to come around to enjoy this particular dish, in Petchaburi they have it all year-round, like a daily delicious staple, that you can just swoop by and eat, or buy it to-go at your own convenience.
And the whole thing you see above is just Bt20, complete with that small bowl of iced water.
If you call yourself a connoisseur of Khao Chae, wait a little. For I do have a post about the elaborate version of Khao Chae waiting to be published in summer. But now, let’s get it on with this street-side munchies of Petchaburi that is somehow equally refreshing, albeit a little less fancy, but delicious and gorgeous and lovely all the same.
Khao Chae is made from Khao (the rice) – half-cooked and polished to rid the outer starchy texture, hence the core grain crunchy and rigid enough to withstand the chilled fragrant water. Je Ad, this small stall on Pleng Nam street next to the Anamai fresh market, uses only old rice (rice harvested from the year before) to make these crunchy bites. She also makes her fragrant water with jasmine and ilang ilang – a typical perfume combination, and sometimes with a sprig or two of the gently scented Bread flowers.
The rice is then served with the unique accompaniments. In this case, the sweet shredded fish (my favorite), deep-fried seasoned shrimp paste (ok, but I would skip them at this place) and sweet turnip (so-so).
Just take a bite of the rice, follow by a savoury of your choice. And do not add the savoury into the rice bowl. Je Ad is open daily from 8.30 – 15.30 or until she runs out of her rice.
The next stop is this stall inside the Anamai market that sells Lod Chong Nam Tarn Kon or pandanus dumplings with coconut cream and toddy palm sugar which is a local sweet delicacy. There are a bunch of stalls selling this similar dessert, and they are all quite the same. However, I like this one the best for being tucked in the market and all it makes me feel like I have just found a hidden treasure.
Lod chong is the string pandanus dumplings that are usually served with sweetened coconut cream and shaved ice. In Petchaburi, where foods can be over the top, they also have other sweet additions you can add on forever. For instance, my favorite candied roselle, candied palm seeds, taro, sweet potato, candied pineapple, chao guay and all. The best thing here is instead of adding the condensed milk, they use coconut cream and sweeten the whole thing with the local fragrant toddy palm syrup (so-called nam tarn kon in this case).
Je Nai is open daily from 8.30 – 15.30.
Then there’s this place that sells all my favorites – deep-fried dough called ‘Pa tong go,’ soy milk and tao huay which is soft tofu in ginger broth.
The pa tong go is freshly fried at the next stall and served piping hot. I had may be 5 pieces myself at one go. They are so good. I also like their tao huay, although I would tell them to go easy on the sugar.
This pa tong go place is a bit further from the main market area. Just walk toward ‘Wat To’ and you will see the stall near the bridge. They are open in the evenings, from perhaps 16.00 onward.
Petchaburi is known for many things. A historical place riddled with gorgeous temples. The province famous for some key Thai-food ingredients such as rice and toddy palm sugar. They’re also abundant in green limes, green rose apples, Thai traditional desserts such as ba-bin, thong yords, more gang and much much more. And with such proximity to Bangkok, this is just a great place to come and eat whenever you like, too!