Thailand is full of delicious and spicy meals just waiting for you to try them. You have probably eaten Thai food back in your home country. I did and loved it but honestly, this is nothing compared to authentic Thai food. Thai food does tend to be quite hot and spicy but they do dial the heat back for foreigners! Sometimes my partner but’s so much chili on his food it physically hurts him to eat it, but he will anyway!
You will hear many people warn you to avoid street food because of a thing called the “Thai tummy”. Ignore this advice, street food is delicious. I have had food poisoning twice in Thailand, once-off donuts and another from pasta in a 5* hotel. I have never gotten sick from street food and I eat it almost every day. Street food is cheap and made with love, that money goes directly to the local families who need it most and not the big chain corporations. Your trip to Thailand will not be complete without visiting a market and eating some yummy Thai food.
There are so many different dishes, some made with chicken, beef, pork, egg, noodles and rice, and different varieties of the same meal. Out of all the food I have tried in Thailand, these are my top ten Thai dishes:
1. Pad thai ( ผัดไทย)
Pad Thai is probably the most well known Thai dish among tourists and with good reason. This fried noodle dish will leave you craving more. Made with fried noodles, chicken, pork or shrimp, this dish will make you feel at home in Thailand. Vegetarian varieties of this dish are also available and just as tasty. Pad Thai is sold in pretty much every restaurant and market you will go to, everyone makes it slightly differently but all of them are just as delicious. This will quickly become a personal favorite and the good new’s is it’s relatively easy to make in your own home!
2. Kai Nam (ไข่น้ำ)
This is one of my top Thai dishes, it’s very simple but full of flavor. Kai Nam or omelet soup is just that, an egg soup. It is made with eggs cooked omelet style, minced pork, spring onions, shallots, garlic, glass noodles, chicken stock, and Thai seasoning sauce. This healthy dish will keep you full for hours, simply serve with a side of rice and enjoy!
3. Khao Pad (ข้าวผัด)
This is a classic dish and a fan favorite of the tourists. If you aren’t the biggest fan of spices and chilies then this is the perfect dish for you. Simple but delicious, you will be sure to love this dish. Made with Fried egg, onions, carrots, rice and a few drops of Thai flavoring sauce, you can also add chicken, shrimp or pork to this already tasty dish. Often served with a slice of lime and some slices of cucumber as well as a bag of chili sauce to add to make the flavor pop.
4. Thai Snapper Fish (ปลากะพงแดง)
If you visiting one of the islands in Thailand you have to try some of the whole cooked fishes they offer. There are many different types of fish, and they will be grilled, steamed or barbequed. One of my favorites is the snapper fish. They are all seasoned differently but a classic seasoning is with garlic, ginger, spring onion and chilies. These fish’s are bursting with flavor and I make sure to always have one fresh when I visit the islands.
6. Som Tam Papaya Salad (ส้มตำ)
This is a must-try while in Thailand. Originating from Northeastern Thailand, this dish is hugely popular all over the kingdom with both locals and tourists. It can be made in a few different ways but the original Som Tam is made using shredded green papaya, carrots, tomatoes, peanuts, shrimp, runner beans, palm sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, garlic and lots of chilies! If you want to try this dish but don’t want too many chilies you can ask for it to be made how you would like it. Simply say “Phed nid-noy”, which is ” a little bit spicy”.
This dish is made by hand using a good old fashioned mortar and pestle. This helps to infuse the flavors and juices to make a very delicious dish.
5. Tom Yum Goong (ต้มยำกุ้ง)
My partner loves this dish, it’s his favorite. The base of the soup is made with lemongrass, chilies, galangal, lime, shallots, and fish sauce. The main part of this yummy and herbal soup is mushrooms and prawns. You can eat this dish alone or with a side of rice. When you smell this spicy dish you’ll be instantly reminded of Thailand.
7. Kuay Teow MOO (ก๋วยเตี๋ยวหมูตุ่น)
Kuay Teow Moo is a very popular Thai dish, mainly found in markets and food trucks. It is also referred too as pork noodle soup, but you can also get it with chicken or beef. Pork is my favorite. It is made with soup, meat, wontons, and meatballs. You can add sugar, chili, lime and fish sauce to add to the taste. This is a popular late-night meal. IF your out and about exploring and need a quick and tasty meal, look no further.
8. Pad Kra Pow Moo Saap (ผัดกะเพราหมูสับ)
This is stir-fried holy basil with minced pork dish and it’s something I eat almost every day. Normally made using minced pork which is stir-fried with chilies, basil, and Thai cooking sauces. It can also be made using chicken, shrimp and other seafood or tofu for any vegetarians. It can be cooked very hot and spicy, so if you would prefer it less spicy simply say “Pet nit noi”. If you would like a fried egg on top you can say “Kai Dao”. The egg adds to the taste and helps to take some of the bite off from the chilies. This dish will often be served with chicken soup and rice. I recommend eating the soup first before your mouth becomes too hot from the chilies to enjoy the soup.
9. Khanom Buang (ขนมเบื้อง)
Now time for some dessert. Khanom Buang is a Thai dessert dish that has been around for centuries. You may know it as a crispy pancake or a crepe. They tend to have an orange taco looking shell made from rice flour, then they are filled with yummy coconut cream. On top of the coconut cream filling, you can find a range of toppings including shredded coconut, chopped scallions or Foi Thing which is strips of fried egg yolk. This delicious street food is a huge hit with tourists and locals and can be found almost everywhere at a low price.
10. Khao Niew Ma Muang (ข้าวเหนียวมะม่วง)
Another very famous Thai dessert you have probably heard of is Khao Niew Ma Muang or Mango Sticky Rice. This dish is immensely popular with tourists and can be found in almost every restaurant and market due to its high demand. This is such a simple but extremely tasty dish, it is made with sticky rice, fresh mango slices, and lashings of sweet condensed milk. The perfect dessert after a long, hot day. Sometimes it will be served with slices of fresh fruit! This is defiantly a dish you should try when you visit Thailand.