One of the reasons I enjoy traveling so much is to experience new food, and there's no better place to do that than in Thailand. There's a buffet of new flavors and strange food on every corner, of every street, in any town all over the region. It's cheap, delicious, and inspires you to go further than you're comfortable with, because you never know, you might just discover something you love.
The one dish that is a common theme all over Southeast Asia is spicy noodle soup. For me, it was love at first slurp, it was a pallet changer. I've never had a dish satisfy every taste sensation on my tongue, and all at one time. It's prepared a variety of different ways from techniques grandmothers have been passing down for generations.
While I was in Bangkok I got really familiar with where to eat, cheapest place for a beer, where to pick up a motorbike, and specifically, where to find the best Tom Yam (spicy noodle soup). One food stall in particular had my heart, and luckily for me it was within a few hundred steps from the City @ 50 Hostel, my Bangkok home. I've told other travelers that if I could have communicated at all with the woman (Kamporng) preparing the soup I'd have proposed to her.
I'm not proud of it, but I kinda stalked her preparation. From what I observed, she prepares the fresh ingredients 2 hours before she opens. Boiling the pork bone broth, cleaning the vegetables, and separating out the ingredients. Her food stall / house opens at 10am and she pours bowels of soup until she sells out, usually before 2pm.
Here's are the "ingredients" she uses for her special "clear pork noodle soup", a version of Tom Yam (just guessing from my 30+ visits):
-Pork Bone Broth
-Crushed Red Chillies
-Fish Cake Slices
You can get the soup and a local coke for 43 thb ($1.21)