Could the perfect food get any better than this?
Fried banana, or kluay kaek, is a popular snack made from fried, floured banana commonly topped with white sesame. Kaek means guest in Thai, and is an old epithet used for Indians. It’s believed the original recipe for kluay kaek came from those first visiting from the subcontinent hundreds of years ago.
It’s true kluay kaek can be found anywhere, but the best of the best is located in Phra Nakhon district, where many households own food stalls and serve up the same good recipes passed down from their ancestors.
We recommend going bananas and trying each of these five delicious kluay kaek vendors for yourself. Pro-tip: Eat it hot. For a lot more pictures, check out our photo essay.
1) Goh Saphan Han
Saphan Han (Saphan Lek), Yaowarat 35
Goh’s kluay kaek stands out from the rest for two main reasons: the white sesame and selection. Yes, you can choose how well-done your banana is just like ordering a steak. They offer three options: hard, medium and soft. On the outside, it’s crispy and filled with white sesame, which makes it smell so delicious. The merchant says he uses his mother’s recipe.
11am – 4pm every day (except Monday)
Three pieces/THB10, seven pieces/THB20, 12 pieces/THB30
2) Mae Gim Lung (blue apron)
Near Lan Luang Intersection, Chakkaphatdi Phong Road
It’s crispy on the outside, and the banana hidden inside the flour is just right – not too soft or too hard. The owner claimed his family has been selling kluay kaek for generations, and it tastes the same since 1957!
5am – 5pm every day
3) Mae Gim Lung (white apron)
Near Lan Luang Post Office, Chakkaphatdi Phong Road
It’s super crispy on the outside, and the bananas are a little harder than the other Mae Gim’s stall. They use ripe bananas so its sweet to the tongue. Mae Gim Lung’s kluay kaek can also be found on other roads around the area sold by street sellers.
7am – 6pm every day
4) Mae Gim Yui (red apron)
Near Chakkaraphatdiphong Intersection, Chakkaphatdi Phong Road
The kluay kaek here seems bigger and slimmer than those of other stalls, while the taste is a little saltier than other Mae Gim’s. We’re not sure how it’s possible, but their kluay kaek is crispy and soft at the same time. The owner claims his shop was the first one in Nang Loeng Market.
8am – 5:30pm every day (except Mondays)
5) Pa Daeng
In front of Wang Na Theatre, Rachini Alley
It’s crispy and crunchy. The banana is ripe and tastes the right kind of sweet. The quality’s guaranteed by Aunty Daeng’s 20 years experience of selling kluay kaek. Her kao mao (shredded rice grain) is also great here.
8am – 6pm every day