Celebrating Food! Celebrating Life!

Or Tor Kor Market @ Bangkok – A Photo Tour

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Bangkok, a city known for its unique street culture from pushcart noodle hawkers to souvenir peddlers, the walkways along the busy roads of the Thai capital are often flanked with these folks selling ware and trying to make ends meet. But like-minded foodies and Thai food lovers like me would often want to take it a step further, to scout for unique ingredients both fresh and dried and attempt to re-create when we are back home, all the piquant flavours Thai cuisine is so known for. There are now many gourmet supermarkets all over Bangkok now, often anchored at the basement of major departmental stores and shopping malls, but for the serious aficionados of Thai cuisine, a true culinary experience is never complete without trip to their local markets. For many, Or Tor Kor Market which lies slightly north of the city centre provides exactly just that. So let me take you on a virtual photo tour of Or Tor Kor Market now…

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There are some stalls selling fruits and local produce situated outside the main market. One doesn’t have to get inside to start shopping!
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A stall selling Thai black glutinous rice and citronella essence based products…
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As one steps into the market, one would be in awe by two things, first how spacious it is and then, how clean it is. The seafood stalls are found right near one end of the market. Gigantic freshwater blue shrimp aka Kung Pao for grilling or tom yum!
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More seafood… The Thai Chinese who are mainly Teochews love pomfret!I love how the catch of the day are displayed in those vintage-looking enamel trays.
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Freshwater carp and related cyprinids… not my favorite fish at all… those marbled goby aka soon hock buried in ice at the back are though!
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A range of snakeheads, catfish, baby eels, filleted gigantic toman and skinned frogs…we kept the walk around the fresh seafood section short since we can’t lug back any of these home. The selection does offer interesting things though. An eye opener.
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Then we reach the dried good section, most apparent from the lingering umami aroma of the variety of dried shrimp of all sizes and grades available.
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The slabs of salted mackerel look good! best fried until crispy or simply steamed over minced pork to go with a warm bowl of porridge.
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And the smells gets more intense with the fermented shrimp paste…
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dried shrimp…
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salt pickled fresh fish maw… a ingredient of acquired taste used by both the Thais as well as Penang Peranakan Chinese, to whom these are called “perut ikan
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Whole Spanish mackerel aka ikan batang salted…
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The vegetable section, selling an assortment of locally grown vegetables and herbs from the familiar to the exotic…
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Winged beans, chives, “char om” and mustard greens in front while young cabbage, young ginger and green mangoes at the back…
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Different varieties of brinjal aka aubergines… good for cooking curries!
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Flowers that are heavily used in Thai cooking…
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Close up on one packet of morning glory buds,,,
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The blue from the familiar butterfly pea flowers aka bunga telang to us from Malaysia and Singapore
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Individually portioned and packed…
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wild mushrooms…
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Eggs from both chicken and duck that comes fresh, salted and even preserved aka century eggs…
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mountain of garlic and shallots…
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teochew pickled radish bits aka chai poh…
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tamarind pods…
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A food stall preparing the day’s fare before customers stream in…
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Then we reach the fruit section… Thai durian already shelled…
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water lotus blossoms…
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pretty in pink…
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fresh garlands crafted out from jasmine, rose and other fragrant flowers as offerings to the Buddha.
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Fresh strawberries…
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The yummy red pulp pomelo but so so expensive…
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The cooked food section, for takeaways…
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Pork, in both roasted or crispy fried…
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An assortment of pork chitterlings from intestines to sliced ear and whole tongues behind…
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Thai Fish Cake aka Tod Mun Pla…
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Buy and pack as one wishes to go home for daily meals with family…
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more cooked dishes… i wish I had the stomach space to try a bit of everything!!!
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A good range of curries and gravy-rich dishes which produced such a complex concoction of aromas when put together…
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shrimp paste rolls which had been steamed. one only needs to buy back and deep fry themselves! how convenient…
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Lightly blanched greens to go with a sour and spicy sauce… the very thought of it makes me drool!
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candied gingko nuts, lotus roots etc… for sweet desserts.
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Thai desserts like tub tim grob, lod chong, khanom chan
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Pennywort aka daun pegaga and lotus root juice… the former tasted really “grassy” but known for its medicinal effects of relieving heatiness.
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Thai Chinese desserts and snacks of Teochew origins…
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They are all made and steamed on the spot!
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The traditional nine auspicious Thai desserts in boxes…
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vinegared raw crab… not for the faint-hearted…
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Teochew styled braised duck…
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More condiments and local snacks…
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dishes which have been packed into individual containers. one just needs to microwave them when they get home…
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Sangkhaya Fa Thong… egg custard steamed in pumpkin
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Grilled bananas…
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More gravy-rich dishes…
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Madeleine-like cakes which reminds of kueh bahulu…
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Pork floss and related snacks…
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One of the popular Thai snacks served in tiny cups made from banana leaves. Jasmine-flavoured glutinous rice steamed in coconut milk
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The back of Or Tor Kor Market is a small “hawker centre” with a dozen of food stalls or so and seating area for diners to enjoy their food on the spot.
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Many choose for takeaways to eat within the comforts of their homes or offices to beat the Bangkok heat..
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A stall specialising in Som Tum aka Thai green papaya salad…
Fried noodles prepared upon ordering… smelled so so good!
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And this was what we ordered…Duck Vermicelli in Soup. The soup base was cooked with a lot of Chinese herbs which I like. The duck was decent but I didn’t like the rice vermicelli aka bihun (mee hoon) which was too hard… khanom jeem would probably have been better…
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I had rice with mixed dishes which included spicy minced pork and smelly beans stir fry, clams and basil stir-fry, stuffed crab cakes, crispy fried pork… the dishes are really yummy but the rice was not of quality. I was told that most of the good Thai jasmine rice are meant for export to countries like Singapore leaving the locals with the other lesser quality crop…
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J’s roast pork and roast duck rice. The roast pork was quite good, the meat was well seasoned with salt and five spice powder but the roast duck was kinda disappointing. The sauce, as expected is on the sweet side
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Small selection of glutinous rice based sweets,, some topped with grated coconut cooked in palm sugar, some with egg and coconut milk custard aka sangkhaya.
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Yet another interesting Thai sweet…
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Khanom Bueang… crispy mini crepes with an assortment of sweet and savory fillings…
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A slice of the Sangkhaya Fa Thong… this is good!!!!
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And then we saw folks selling BBQ pork skewers but we were already filled to the brim from all the snacking along the way…
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There is a small section at the back with shops selling household items and dried goods… there is a particular shop that sells traditional kitchenware…
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Beans, lentils and legumes…
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And good selection of grains…
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Cute little enamel pots and tiffin carriers behind…
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A shop selling items woven out of bamboo or rattan….
If one only has limited time to explore Bangkok but wishes for a glimpse of what and how the local Thais eat and buy, I think Or Tor Kor Market is definitely a good place to visit. Yes the prices of food items here maybe slightly higher than those peddled along the streets, but it is still very much affordable and the levels of spaciousness, cleanliness and hygenie more than make up for it. That said, beware of tourist traps as always, simply smile and walk away after saying “khor pun khap/kha” if the price given is higher than what one is expecting to pay. There are usually many stalls selling the same stuff so competition would be quite stiff I gather here, so don’t bargain and haggle over prices here and anger the hawkers as what I saw some Mainland Chinese tourists had tried to do. The Thais are generally a very friendly and hospitable bunch but don’t go overboard and provoke them to unleash their lesser desirable sides unto you. That said, don’t go chirping like a bird by saying “cheeeep cheeeep cheeeep” like a group of aunties from Singapore I saw, chatting loudly amongst themselves and trying to persuade each other to buy an item in bulk for a better discount from the hawker. For all you know, the Thais being naturally entrepreneurial as they are, the prices will no longer be what you had enjoyed during the last visit.

Or Tor Kor Market
Kamphaengphet Road, opposite Chatuchak Weekend Market
To get there, I would suggest taking the MRT and stop at Kamphaeng Phet station instead of taking the BTS which is quite a walk from Mo Chit Station. Simply get off at alight at Kamphaeng Phet MRT station and get out at exit three just next to the market.
It opens as early as dawn and closes around dusk but the fresh food stalls tend to wrap up business just pass noon. So try to go early, shop around and enjoy some local food there for brunch or lunch before heading down to ChatuChak Weekend Market next door for more shopping!



5 responses

  1. Great Post

    December 18, 2015 at 4:49 pm

  2. Reblogged this on I May Roam.

    December 18, 2015 at 7:07 pm

  3. Reblogged this on daisy2803.

    July 22, 2016 at 10:45 pm

  4. Pingback: Or Tor Kor Market — SIMON ROYLE

  5. Pingback: สังขยาฟักทอง Sangkhaya Fak Thong – Thai Coconut and Pumpkin Custard | travellingfoodies

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