Local delicacies in Thailand are renowned all over the world! The country has some of the most delectable dishes infused with rich flavour and unique ingredients. Here’s a list of the best Thai dishes you can try in Thailand (or when you’re at a Thai restaurant anywhere in the world).
1. Guay Teow (Noodle Soup)
This noodle soup is the perfect comfort food. A delicious broth that can be made with chicken, pork, or beef, it is usually topped with a variety of condiments including, sugar, dried chilli peppers, lime juice, and fish sauce. Wontons or meatballs can also be added to the mix. Guay Teow can be had as a meal at any time of the day!
2. Tom Yum Goong
This soup is perfect for seafood lovers because the main ingredient is shrimp. The clear soup is infused with lemongrass and is both spicy and tangy. A bowl of steaming goodness, it is created with quintessential Thai ingredients like lemongrass, chilli, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, shallots, fresh lime juice and plenty of fish sauce. If you want a creamy version, you can add coconut cream as well.
3. Tom Kha Gai (Chicken in Coconut Soup)
Tom Kha Gai is ideal for people who like mild soups that are low on spice. The soup is creamy, filled with coconut milk and leaves a sweet aftertaste.
4. Som Tam (Spicy Green Papaya Salad)
This dish is originally from Isaan, in Northeastern Thailand and comes in a variety of styles. It is definitely one of the more popular dishes in Thailand. Classic Som Tam is made of shredded green papaya, tomatoes, carrots, peanuts, dried shrimp, runner beans, palm sugar, tamarind pulp, fish sauce, lime juice, garlic and plenty of chillies. The flavours are intense because the ingredients are mixed using a mortar and pestle. The dish is uniquely everything at once; sour, hot, salty, savoury and sweet.
5. Yam Pla Dook Foo (Fried Catfish with Green Mango Salad)
The reason why Yam Pla Dook Foo is so delicious is that it pairs crispy fish with a sweet, sour and spicy green mango salad. Simultaneously fluffy and crispy, the dish has catfish fried in small pieces creating the airy fish salad. It’s a great appetizer and can be accompanied by a chilled glass of beer.
6. Yam Talay (Spicy Seafood Salad)
A mixed seafood salad, Yam Talay is a healthy option. You can have this salad with squid, shrimp, mussels, scallops or crabmeat in it. Additionally, there are tomatoes, onions and rice glass noodles that make it a whole lot tastier!
7. Larb (Spicy Salad)
Larb is usually made with either mushroom or meat like chicken or pork and garnished with mint. It’s a traditional north-eastern style salad. It’s deliciously spicy which is why spice-lovers are in for a treat!
8. Pad Thai (Thai Style Fried Noodles)
Pad Thai is the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of Thai cuisine. It is also one of Thailand’s national dishes and is made with fried noodles topped with either shrimp or chicken. Like all the other dishes, a vegetarian option is always available!
9. Pad See Eiw (Thick Noodle Dish)
If you like Pad Thai, you’ll also enjoy Pad See Eiw. It’s made with wide rice noodles that are stir-fried in thick soy sauce mixed with a meat option (chicken/pork/beef). Chinese broccoli or cabbage greatly improves the taste! If it’s not spicy enough for you, you can garnish it with dried chilli flakes, vinegar or both.
10. Pak Boong (Morning Glory)
A spinach-like vegetable is usually fried and seasoned with garlic, chillies, soy sauce and soybean paste to make Pak Boong. It is salty, spicy, sour and crunchy at the same time, suiting nearly every kind of palette! It’s usually made with oyster sauce but a vegetarian option is also available.
11. Gai Med Ma Moung (Chicken Cashew Nuts)
This dish is essentially stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts. It’s very spicy, so look out if you can’t handle too much spice, or ask for a milder version to be prepared. Mixed with some veggies and a side of steamed rice, it’s a perfectly wholesome meal!
12. Suea Rong Hai (Crying Tiger)
“Crying Tiger” is a delicious grilled steak that is served with nam jim jao, a sauce so spicy, it might bring you to tears (hence the name)! Every serving comes with a side of sticky rice making it a complete meal. The flavours are a powerful mix of spicy, sour, and salty guaranteed to please your taste buds.
13. Geng Kheaw Wan Gai (Green Curry Chicken)
This green curry is made with extra spicy green peppers and coconut milk. It is considered one of the spiciest curries in Thailand. You can order it with either chicken, beef or vegetables and it also has Thai eggplant in it!
14. Massaman Curry
The name Massaman actually has its origins in early Muslim writing and isn’t a native Thai word. The dish, however, is very much a part of traditional Thai cuisine. The paste of the curry has several ingredients imported from the Middle East including cinnamon, nutmeg and cumin. It has some dried peppers in it as well and could be a little spicy.
Have we missed any of your favourite Thai dishes? If so, be sure to share them in the comments below.