How to Avoid Peanut Allergy while Travelling to Thailand
Imagine that you are now in Thailand and want to try some delicious street foods. Unfortunately, you have been diagnosed with a severe peanut allergy. Only small amounts of peanut could cause you an itchy skin, a tingling sensation in your mouth, a sudden drop in blood pressure, a runny nose, or even a difficulty in breathing that later may send you into a shock condition. Peanut is one of food allergens and often associated with anaphylaxis which is a deadly reaction and need an immediate medical attention. To treat the anaphylaxis reaction, the epinephrine (adrenaline) must be administered to inject into the body.
Most Thai street food vendors do not speak or understand English. What would you do if you cannot speak or read Thai? How can you tell them that you have an allergy that is fatal? We have a solution for you.
Peanut Allergy Card in Thai
The most effective approach to convey your massage to street food vendors is to speak their language. Of course, you can open your small phase book and try to speak Thai but we do not suggest this way. It would be a tragedy if they misunderstand since the symptom cannot be compromised. Simply carry the allergy card written in Thai language and show it to them whenever you place an order for foods or beverages.
Google translate might come in handy but its algorithm is far from perfect. Let use the massage we have provided to you below.
ฉันแพ้ถั่วลิสงอย่างรุนแรงและอาจ “ตาย” ได้ในทันทีถ้าได้กินหรือสัมผัสถั่วลิสง กรุณาอย่าใส่ถั่วลิสงหรือเครื่องปรุงที่มีส่วนผสมของถั่วลิสงในอาหาร
I have a severe peanut allergy and cannot consume or be in direct contact with peanut. The peanut allergy will kill me instantly. Therefore, DO NOT put peanut or any ingredients that contain peanut in my food.
Please DO NOT use any silverware or cooking utensils that may have trace with peanut or come into contact with it.
Please keep peanut or peanut ingredients away from my beverage.
Thank you very much
Simply copy and paste this massage to a small card and show it to food vendors or restaurant’s staffs wherever you go in Thailand. It is advisable to carry some Epi-pens or allergy tablets or do take low-dose of antihistamines before a meal. It is likely to minimize the chance of getting anaphylaxis reaction if peanut is accidentally consumed or contacted.
Thai Foods with Peanut Ingredient
Lots of Thai foods contain peanut or peanut ingredients. As a safety precaution, we do suggest that you avoid some popular Thai foods that may contain peanut.
1. Pad Thai
Pad Thai is a popular stir-fried noodle dish which is commonly found on street food vendors or even served in some fine restaurants. Of course, peanut is one of the ingredients so try to avoid it. If you really want to eat, then tell the vendor to single out peanut and also ask them to wash a fried pan before cooking your meal.
2. Som Tum Thai (Green Papaya salad)
Som tum is a famous spicy green papaya salad which originally stems from northeastern (E-san) traditional dish. It is so popular that everyone has named it the queen of Thai cuisine. Even through the abundant of ingredients are mixed up in Som tum, some of them can be excluded without scarifying its flavors. You can request the peanut to be left out from the dish and still enjoy a wonderful taste of Som tum.
3. Dried Noodle
You can find this dish almost everywhere in Thailand from food stalls to restaurants. It is cheap, easy to prepare, and delicious. The rice noodle is soaked in hot water and then mixed with sliced pork, fish ball, bean sprout and fried garlic oil. Some vendors may add sugar, roasted chilli, and peanut in the bowl but some will let you do it.
4. Tom Yum (Spicy) Straw Pork Soup
As a matter of fact, the straw pork soup is actually a noodle soup without noodle. The remaining ingredients are almost identical to noodle pork soup. Unlike Som tum, peanut is one of the important ingredients and cannot be left out. We suggest you avoid this dish or order only straw pork soup instead.
5. Chicken Massaman Curry
This dish has long been originated from Muslim traditional cuisine and was introduced to Ayutthaya kingdom during 17th century. It has been named one of the most delicious foods in the world. To make massaman, the curry paste is fried with coconut cream and then add other ingredients such as chicken meat, potatoes, onions, fish sauce or salt, tamarind paste, sugar, and peanuts.
6. Pork/Chicken/Beef Satay with Peanut sauce
In essence, Satay is a common dish sharing among Malay heritage countries and Thai has adopted this recipe into its own style. Unlike other Muslim countries which chicken or beef is a meat of choice, pork satay with peanut sauce is commonly served in Thailand. However, tourists with peanut allergy can still enjoy a magnificent taste of satay because there is no trace of peanut on a grilled meat. Stay away from peanut sauce and you will be just fine.
7. Spicy Deep fried Catfish Salad (Yam Pla Duk Fu)
The combination of crispy deep-fried catfish and sweet-and-sour green mango salad is surely the dish you are not affordable to miss while travelling to Thailand. Through deep fried catfish is peanut-free, the real trait is in sweet-and-sour green mango salads which contain some peanuts. Alternatively, you may request vendor to substitute peanut with Cashew nut.