One thing that always puzzles me is why Thailand needed to introduce that well known fried chicken outlet, usually referred to by its abbreviated 3 letter name, when in my opinion there is an abundance of much tastier fried chicken to be found sold from the roadside. It is also my opinion that nowhere in the world can do fried chicken quite like the Thais.
For me, Thai fried chicken, or gai tod, really is the stuff of wonders, with each street cart having its very own special marinade, passed down from generation to generation. And I’m sure if you ever wanted to know the secret ingredients used in their mix, it would cost you an arm and a leg, or if taking in chicken terms, a wing and a leg.
Whenever I eat gai tod, which I admit is quite frequently, it always amazes me how the flavor from the marinade always manages to get right down to the bone, and how the light coating that fries up shatteringly crisp and remarkably light but have the most incredible salty, savory notes.
Many of the gai tod carts around Phuket will be run by members of the Muslim community and it is these carts that offer gai tod that is so much tastier and flavoursome than other versions out there. This is usually because the muslim sellers fry a few pandanus leaves which infuse the oil and, thus adding a slight perfumy taste to the chicken.
Gai tod really is a must try street food, and I can guarantee that once you’ve tried it you will fall in love with it from the very first bite.
Gai tod is best enjoyed with sticky rice sprinkled with fried finely chopped garlic and shallots and an ice cold beer!