Hua Hin is well known as a destination for great food.
From high end fine dining to casual eating on the beach soaking up the idyllic atmosphere, Hua Hin has it all and more.
Of course, you don’t need to be a certified food expert to know that Hua Hin is best known for its fresh seafood and shellfish.
It’s part of the quintessential Hua Hin experience: spend a weekend at the beach feasting on fresh prawns and squid.
But it doesn’t start and end with prawns and squid – there is a huge variety of different types of seafood that is available locally.
Arguably the one dish (it’s actually more of a snack) that Hua Hin is most famous for is called Hoi Seab Malakor, grilled dried clams with papaya sauce.
Hoi Seab Malakor has been served in Hua Hin for generations and is considered to be unique to the area.
Hua Hin Today was recently invited to try Hoi Seab Malakor at various spots throughout the town.
There are many different varieties that can be found in Hua Hin with the snack normally consisting of dried mussels, clams, razor clams or wedge shells.
The dried clams are skewered, toasted over charcoal and then served with a spicy dipping sauce which is made from crushed bean paste and strips of raw papaya.
Admittedly, Hoi Seab Malakor might not look particularly appetizing but once you try it, don’t be surprised if you are left craving more.
In terms of taste and especially when eaten with the dipping sauce, Hoi Seab Malakor combines the salty, sweet, sour and spicy flavours that are synonymous with Thai food.
If nothing else, Hoi Seab Malakor is simply a tasty chewy snack and dare we say it, would be a great accompaniment with a cold beer.
Typically, Hoi Seab is sold in bundles of four or five, with each bundle costing from 20 baht.
We sampled the Hoi Seab Malako at three different locations in town.
First up was at Hua Hoi, where Hoi Seab is served from a little orange truck located at the top of Soi 51. Alongside the truck are the small tables and chairs which are ubiquitous with Hoi Seab spots in Hua Hin.
From there we headed over to Jae Beer, located on Huay Mongkol 9, which is perhaps one of the most well known places to get Hoi Seab in Hua Hin. The owners of Jae Beer have previously been featured on a popular Thai TV show which highlights local cuisine from around Thailand.
The last spot we tried was Jae Joy on Soi Hua Hin 68, which also offered a few different varieties of Hoi Seab that didn’t appear to be available at the places.
Most of the vendors selling Hoi Seab in Hua Hin typically open for business in the early evening, around 5pm and can stay open until 1am.
“Several decades ago, people would eat Hoi Seab Malakor at markets and temple fairs, where they would sit on little chairs in the middle of the floor. The spicy dipping sauce is then placed in the centre for everyone one to share”, one local vendor explained.
“Later, Hoi Seab Malakor changed from being something that was only ever eaten at temple fairs to a form of street food, with vendors popping up all over Hua Hin district, much like you find today.”
If you haven’t already, then Hoi Seab is well worth trying, especially as it is so unique to Hua Hin.