Famous steamed glass noodles in Thonburi, Bangkok
Somsak Pu Ob is a street food stall that serves delicious authentic steamed seafood with glass noodles. The food’s so outstanding, it was included in the Michelin Guide 2019, drawing a long line of foodies in every evening.
Located near BTS Wongwian Yai in Thonburi district, this street food stall has been running for 29 years by the one and only Mr. Somsak, who prepares every dish by himself with consistency and precision – so you know the taste won’t be compromised.
Note: Pu means crab and Ob means steamed in Thai
Trying the famous Pu Ob Woonsen
Although this place is deemed a street food store, the prices are not as cheap, though for a good reason. All the ingredients are fresh and Somsak’s delicious seasoning will definitely make you come back for more.
When we arrived, we quickly ordered the signature Pu Ob Woonsen (Steamed Crab with Glass Noodles) (฿310 ~USD10.18). A meaty crab and fragrant seasonings like black pepper are put together with a slice of pork fat in a skillet before being placed onto a flaming stove. Then, glass noodles mixed with soy sauce are thrown into the heated pan and topped with green scallions.
Pu Ob Woonsen (Steamed crab with glass noodles)
The glass noodles were perfectly steamed, making it quite gooey in texture. You will taste the balanced mixture of seasonings in each bite – a mild saltiness from the soy sauce and a sweet taste from the cooked scallions that have been cooked along with the steamed crab.
The crab meat was so fresh it tasted quite sweet, and its white meat was so soft and perfect when eaten with the seafood sauce, which is made with green chili, garlic, and fish sauce. It is served to accompany all the dishes. So if you have quite a strong palate, you can add the tangy and spicy sauce to complement your dish however you like.
We recommend eating the dish hot and in-store as it can get clumpy and dry if left out too long. Also, don’t forget to mix the noodles with the crab “juice” and oil at the bottom of skillet thoroughly to get the full taste.
To get the full experience of this dish, you will have to get your hands dirty as a fork won’t help you much when it comes to getting the crab meat out. The crabs are already crushed in for you, so it’s not that hard to get the flesh out either.
If the regular size doesn’t satisfy your cravings, go for Big Pu Ob Woonsen (from ฿750 ~USD24.63). And if you have a craving for crab eggs with creamy texture, don’t miss Pu Ob Woonsen with Egg (from ฿400 ~USD13.14).
If prawn is your seafood of choice, there’s also Goong Ob Woonsen (Steamed Prawns with Glass Noodles) (฿290 ~USD9.53) to order.
Boiled mussels with basil leaves
Besides the Pu Ob Woonsen, we also had Boiled Mussels with Basil Leaves (฿70 ~USD2.30), served in a skillet. Once you open the shells, you will find cooked orange mussels nicely infused with the scent of basil. This dish is a must for those who like mussels.
If the taste of mussels alone is too subtle for your palate, don’t forget that you still have the flaming hot seafood sauce besides you.
Keep in mind that you might have to wait for your order up to 1 hour or more during the busy hours. And it might take even longer to get the seats. So we highly commend you to get there as soon as the stall opens.
Experience real street food culture at Somsak Pu Ob
It’s worth noting that there are a number of Somsak Pu Ob branches scattered around Bangkok such as Somsak Pu-Ob 2, which offers proper indoor seating areas to your comfort.
Mr. Somsak is seasoning and cooking all the dishes himself
However, the original branch is the one sitting beside a crowded street, which adds to the whole street food experience. So if you want to try the OG stall and meet Mr. Somsak in person, you better come here.
The stall sits right on the footpath near a busy street, so be mindful that you won’t get any cosy vibes eating out here. However, you’ll definitely get an idea of how Thai locals in the city eat from day to day.
We can say that if you’re a big fan of fresh and sweet crab meat or juicy prawns, coming here won’t be a disappointment.
Somsak Pu Ob
Address: Thanon Charoen Rat Soi 1, Khlong San, Bangkok 10600
Opening Hours: Tue – Sat: 5PM – 10PM, Sunday: 4PM – 10PM (Note: they often sell out early)
Getting there: Get off at BTS Wongwian Yai (Exit 3), head straight towards Saraphi 3 alley for 5 minutes and you will find the stall situated on the opposite side of the intersection.
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