Thailand is world-famous for its mouth-watering food, and its reputation is well-deserved. Here are the 21 best dishes, which are sure to satisfy your foodie impulses. The Land of Smiles has so much to offer, you’ll find yourself craving more.
Noodle Soup (Cool Teow)
A hot and sour Thai dish known as Cool Teow, it has earned its popularity almost everywhere. In general, noodle soups are classified as cool teow. This soup is usually made with chicken, pork, or beef, so vegetarians will have a hard time finding this recipe. It’s also served with wontons or meatballs, which are usually served with sugar, dried chilli peppers, lime juice, and fish sauce. The savoury noodle can be eaten at all times of the day but is particularly good as a late-night snack.
Tom Yum Goong (Spicy Shrimp Soup)
A hot bowl of steaming goodness with a strong spicy kick, this bowl of bold, aromatic goodness will surely hit the spot. Several traditional Thai ingredients are used in the preparation of tom yum goong, as well as lemongrass, chillies, galangal leaves, shallots, lime juice, and fish sauce. The creamy version is made with coconut cream and fresh prawns and mushrooms.
Tom Kha Gai (Chicken in Coconut Soup)
With Tom Kha Gai, people who cannot handle spicy food have the opportunity to enjoy the same tasty flavours as tom yum. In addition to the spice scale, Tom Kha Gai also has the added benefit of being rich and creamy soup made from creamy coconut milk. A few ingredients can be substituted for vegetarian options, as they do in most Thai cuisine.
Som Tam (Spicy Green Papaya Salad)
One of the most popular dishes in Thailand is Som tam, which comes from Isaan in the Northeast of the country. There are many ways to prepare som tam, but the classic recipe contains shredded green papaya, tomatoes, carrots, peanuts, dried shrimp, dried beans, palm sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, and garlic. The flavours are amplified by mixing everything together in a mortar and pestle, resulting in a super delish dish.
Yam Pla Dook Foo:
This dish could be described as crispy and a little fluffy. A fried catfish salad is airy, fluffy and savory because the catfish pieces are blown up in the frying pan. A combination of crispy salty fish and sweet, sour, and spicy mango salad is the secret to this dish. A great dish to enjoy as an appetizer or beer snack with a group of friends.
Yam Talay (Spicy Seafood Salad)
Besides being delicious, this mixed seafood salad is also a healthy meal option. The ingredients in this salad could include anything from squid, shrimp, scallops, mussels, or crabmeat depending on where you are. In addition to the seafood medley, tomatoes, onions, and rice glass noodles are added for good measure.
Laab (Spicy Salad)
Salad Laab is a traditional dish of the northeastern province of Isan with meat or mushrooms and mint dressing. Laab comes in different variations, including those with chicken, pork, and mushrooms. Those who are unable to handle spice should not attempt this dish as it typically has a hefty kick.
Pad Phuk Tong (Stir-Fried Pumpkin)
The best vegetarian-friendly dish in the Land of Smiles is stir-fried pumpkin or “pad phuk tong”. It is a little bit harder to get than a good portion of pad thai, but you should always keep an eye out for this dish. You’ll be laughing if you order it with brown rice and if that’s available.
Pad Thai (Thai Style Fried Noodles)
The national dish of Thailand, Pad thai is a go-to dish for tourists who are starting out their culinary explorations of Thai cuisine. It’s a fried seafood noodle dish that is usually accompanied by chicken or shrimp, but vegetarian versions are also very popular. There is pad thai on nearly every street corner and it is one of the tastiest and cheapest meals you can get.
Pad See Eiw (Thick Noodle Dish)
It is a dish in which wide rice noodles, stir-fried with either broccoli and cabbage or with pork or beef, are stir-fried in thick, dark soy sauce. If you like food that is good but also not quite spicy, this dish is an excellent choice for those who want to branch out of pad thai. The extra kick can be added in the form of vinegar or dried chilli flakes.
Pak Boong (Morning Glory)
One of the healthiest plants is Pak Boong (morning glory). The vegetable is commonly served fried in soybean paste, soy sauce, garlic, chillies and more, seasoned with soy sauce, garlic, chilies, and more. This is one of the most savory, spicy, sour, crunchy foods that will satisfy any palate. Vegetarian options for this dish can easily be prepared but usually oyster sauce is used.
Khao Pad (Fried Rice)
Khao pad can be compared to England’s love of sandwiches, as it is consumed in mass quantities. Khao pad simply means “fried rice.” It consists of just rice and an egg, plus onions and green onions. A cucumber garnish is usually served on top of the dish as well as several condiments to suit each consumer’s taste.
Pad Krapow (Fried Basil)
Pad krapao is usually stir-fried with pork or chicken mince, and it tastes good with tofu as well. The peppery, peppery taste of Thai basil paired with the explosion of heat in the chillies make pad krapow a dish that is not for the timid. The vendor can easily alter the spice level by making it “pet nit noi”. A noodle dish with white rice, served with an egg oozing with running friend “kai dao”, which makes the dish oozing at the core for a remarkable taste sensation.
Panang (Thai Curry)
In comparison with other curries in Thailand, Panang curry is a bit milder. As a result, it remains a popular dish among tourists who tend to stay within the spicy “safe zone.” Panang curry is typically served with shrimp, although vegetarian options are available too.
Green Curry (Gaeng Keow Wan)
The spiciest curry, green curry originates from central Thailand, with just the right amount of sweetness from the added coconut milk. Some of the most mouthwatering ingredients in green curry include fresh green chillies, ginger, eggplant, and of course, plenty of coconut milk. You can cool down the spice level with plenty of steamed rice.
An indisputable classic of Thai cuisine, Khao Soi is a Thai curried noodle soup with a burmese influence. This dish has a coconut curry base and is garnished with deep-fried crispy egg noodles, pickled mustard greens, shallots, lime and ground chillies fried in oil. Available as chicken, beef, pork or vegetarian options. A visit to northern Thailand should not be complete without the experience of khao soi, Chiang Mai being the khao soi mecca.
Gai Tod (Fried Chicken)
There is no reason to believe that Thai chicken is only available at Thai restaurants. The typical preparation method for gai tod involves marinating chicken wings and drumsticks in a spicy curry before deep-frying the whole mixture. Gai tod is excellent with sticky rice and homemade spicy dipping sauce like NAM Jim. By the way, it is also served with ginger to make it even tastier.
Pad Phak (Fried Vegetables)
Stir-fried vegetables are a Thai classic that will leave vegetarians and meat-eaters alike full and satisfied. Most Thai dishes incorporate as many flavours as possible to create a powerful dish, and stir-fried vegetables are no exception. This perfectly harmonious blend of sugar, salt, and spices makes for a wonderful flavour combination in these fried vegetables.
Kai Med Ma Muang (Chicken with Cashew Nuts)
It is a popular restaurant among both locals and foreigners alike. Simple, yet very tasty, this dish is cooked with cashews, soy sauce, honey, onions, chillies, peppers, mushrooms, in short whatever the chef has on hand.
The Thai Omelette (Kai Jeow)
In addition to being a great protein-rich dish for quick meals on the go, Kai jeow also makes an excellent accompaniment dish. When served with Thai omelette and accompanied by sweet chilli sauce, Kai jeow is usually topped with vegetables. Simply ask for a “kai jeow pak” if you would like vegetables to be stuffed into your omelette. A bowl of kai jeow for breakfast can be a great way to start your day if you’re new to Thailand and haven’t tried “jok,” a Thai rice soup.
Kao Niew Ma Muang (Mango and Sticky Rice)
Mango and sticky rice dessert is a crowd-pleaser for every occasion. Kao niew ma Muang is a rice dish with mango slices and sticky rice made with condensed milk, which is sure to please.