Transcribed: Crispy Squid in Ao Nang, Krabi

Mark Weins: It’s Mark Weins. I am in Ao Nang in Krabi—in the Krabi Province of Thailand and just kind of in between Ao Nang and a beach called Klong Haeng. There is a little stretch with a bunch of different street food restaurants that’s set up in the middle of the day. And they have all their fried foods set up and you can sit here and have lunch.

And also, actually they are having a—it’s like a little festival going on on the street right now, but normally when there is no festival, you can get a mat and sit on the beach and they will bring your food to you as you eat, which is kind of nice, but unfortunately, they’re having a festival right now for the next two weeks or so. So they have set up some tables here in the kind of in the grass underneath the coconut tree. So this is not a bad alternative for me. It’s still right next to the ocean just across the street and I’m enjoying the shade and the cool breeze and I’m about to dig in for lunch.

After choosing one of the restaurants, you just get a little basket and fill up whatever you want, whatever looks good so Ying and I pretty much got one of everything and they are all pretty much deep fried so it’s kind of a—well it kind of goes with the beach. Crispy deep fried food and the beach always goes well together. [Mark Weins speaking in Thai on 00:01:25-00:01:29].

Okay, all of the food has just arrived. So most of the items are deep fried and they are covered in a light batter, which is yellow which I’m sure is yellow from turmeric as this is the south of Thailand, but they also have kind of a mix of Esan food as well since they have Som Tam which is from northeastern Thailand and sticky rice, but then this is very southern style deep fried seafood dishes.

So I am going to go in for the squid first and the tentacles are my favorite part of the squid. Oh these are just extremely crispy still and yellow. Oh look at that. Forget about the spoon, I’m just going to go in with my fingers and pick up this—this French fry of squid and I think this is just a Thai sweet and sour sauce. Mmm. Wow. That is extremely crispy despite it just sitting out there. I don’t know how it stays so crispy, but extremely crispy.

The squid is definitely fresh and not rubbery at all and then that sauce is kind of like a sweet Thai chili sauce, but kind of ketchupy tasting. So the sauce is not my favorite, but the squid is definitely delicious. Very—yes very fresh and nice and not rubbery at all. Ying just come close with the camera. You got to record the crunchiness sound.

This is a southern style of Goong Tod, which is fried shrimp and you can just see. It is like a whole fritter actually, but on the bottom is a whole bed of leaves which I can’t remember the name of right now and then a shrimp is covering it and then it’s in that light batter that same light batter as the squid and the fish which is turmeric filled. And then that whole crispy layer of stack of leaves. This one is just Num Chim seafood, which is chilis and garlic and this is my much more preferred sauce over the ketchupy tomato sauce—ketchupy chili sauce.

Wow. That is insanely crispy. It’s like layers of vegetable chips stacked on top of each other, and a shrimp on the very top of everything. Yes, just like a deep fried sandwich. That’s where it’s at. Oh yes. That should be good. Oh I lost something. Wow, that is ridiculously crispy and like a giant 3D chip.

Let me just clear my mouth from all that crispiness and take a bite of the Som Tam and you can actually see the little—you can actually see where did I? There are some chunks of the Bala in here as well, the fermented fish. Look at that. That’s a whole piece of fermented—extremely fermented fish. Okay, I’ll taste it. Wow. That is strong and extremely salty. That tastes like fish cheese.

One of the signature dishes or shells in Krabi is called Hoy Shakteen and this is something you cannot come to Krabi without eating because it is very famous here. In Thailand it’s known for only being available in Krabi and it’s called Hoy Shakteen because of this. They call this little thing the foot, which in Thai is the “teen” and “shak” is to like pull out.

So you just kind of pull out the foot—oh yes it’s a little—and it just slides right out. Boom. You got a little foot handle with the little shell. I’m going to dip real fast. That tastes almost like squid, same texture and almost the same flavor and then that—yes, that Num Chim Seafood is good. That’s just like a sour, garlicky, chili sauce. For soup we got a mixed seafood Tom Yum. Oh there are mussels in here, there’s shrimp and.

Ying: Squid.

Mark Weins: There’s squid also—yes and onions. Let me just taste some of that broth real fast. Oh that’s hot, but that tastes tomatoey. It’s just a little bit sour, not spicy, but that just—it’s ok, not wonderful, but it goes well with all the rest of the dishes.

Finally, to complete this meal on the beach in Ao Nang, we got a fried fish, which is in the same batter and deep fried as well. Let me rip off a piece and put it on my plate with that Num Chim Seafood. Put that on top. Oh, I got a little chunk of the vegetable from the shrimp fritter that ended up in the sauce. The meat is kind of like tuna. It’s really fleshy and really meaty, almost like chicken and then yes it has that same crispiness on the outside and then that Num Chim Seafood is very good.

I’ve decided to ditch all silverware, but actually the fish is one of my favorite things here. It’s really rich and creamy and meaty and fleshy. And yes the fish has so much—yes it’s like—it’s just a good fish yes. And that garlic and chilis makes it even better. Oh yes. That fish is my favorite.

We finished off that meal. It was a little on the greasy side, but made a good beach lunch and unfortunately we can’t—we don’t have a view of the ocean because of the festival, but the ocean is right across there and if you come when there is no festival which there isn’t most of the time. You can get a mat and sit right on the beach and then they’ll bring the food to you across the road and you can sit there. But I was pretty happy just to sit here in the grass underneath the coconut tree and luckily a coconut did not fall on my head during the meal. But that was good, a little on the greasy side, but yes, good. Ao Nang, Krabi style beach, beach food.

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