Thai Food: Top 20 must-eat dishes in Thailand.
If you’re looking for a globally renowned cuisine, then Thai food is up there with the best. Thai cuisine is really popular all over the world because it’s a great blend of aquatic animals, plants, and herbs. The five elemental flavors sweet, spicy, bitter, salty, and sour are well represented in Thai cuisine. While sampling traditional Thai dishes, you’ll find lemon juice, garlic, chili peppers, lemongrass, and fish sauce as common ingredients. Basically, the distinctiveness of Thai food depends on who cooks it and on what occasion it is prepared.
In Thailand, food is available 24 hours a day, so it doesn’t matter if you’re hungry, there’s always plenty to eat. You can order food directly from your hotel room or eat at one of the great restaurants in the downtown areas of the larger cities. You can also eat in some of the great fast-food locations, which are nothing like Western fast food. They just use fresh ingredients, and you can have a delicious meal at any time.
We invite you to come and discover the flavors of the Land of the Smiles by savoring some of the finest dishes Thailand has to offer.
These are some of the 20 dishes, we have chosen for you:
- Tom Yum Goong (spicy and sour shrimp soup, most famous Thai food?
- Som Tam papaya salad (spicy green papaya salad)
- Cool Teow (noodle soup)
- Gaeng Keow Wan Gai (green curry chicken)
- Yam Pla Dook Foo (fried catfish with green mango salad)
- Gaeng Daeng (red curry)
- Tod Mun Pla (Thai snack)
- Pad Phuk Tong (baked pumpkin)
See all of them below 🙂
1. Tom Yum Goong (spicy and sour shrimp soup, most famous Thai food?
Tom Yum has to be the most famous Thai soup, both inside and outside Thailand. It is a simple, spicy and tangy soup flavored with fragrant lemongrass, glandular root, kaffir lime leaf, bird’s eye chili peppers, etc. There are hundreds of variants of Tom Yum depending on the primary component of the dish. Tom Yum is usually made from pomegranate (Tom Yum Goong), chicken (Tom Yum Gai), fish (Tom Yum Pla), or mixed shellfish (Tom Yum Taleh) and mushrooms. The shrimp variant is considered by the locals to be the most delicious, so if it’s your first time, you should go for it!
2. Som Tam papaya salad (spicy green papaya salad)
Som Tam is a spicy papaya salad from the Northeast of Thailand. The flavor of Som Tam goes well with the spice of red pepper, the spicy taste of fish sauce, the acidity of lime or tamarind and the sweetness of palm sugar. It can be combined with crab, peanuts, dried shrimp and noodles of rice. In addition, mangoes, cucumbers or other vegetables can be used as the main ingredient instead of green papaya. Thais love to eat glutinous rice. You can try the most popular Thai salad and order “Som Tam Thai” from vendors in almost every corner of Bangkok. “
3. Cool Teow (noodle soup)
Cool teow is possibly one of the most common Thai dishes and can be found just about anywhere. Cool teow defines any form of noodle soup. It can be made with chicken, pork or beef, as well as with rice noodles or egg noodles. Most of the time, the vendors often add wontons or meatballs to the broth. It’s best to cover the plate with a variety of seasonings including the egg noodles.
4. Gaeng Keow Wan Gai (green curry chicken)
You can’t go any further than gaeng keow wan gai for the spiciest curry you can find!
Slices of chicken, Thai eggplant, bamboo shoots, coriander and basil are mixed with a tasty green curry paste that blends coconut milk, green chili, kaffir lime, galangels, shrimp paste, coriander, lemongrass and other spices. Gaeng keow wan gai is best eaten with fragrant jasmine rice!
5. Yam Pla Dook Foo (fried catfish with green mango salad)
“Fluffy” and “crisp” may be the best words to characterize this dish. The catfish is fried in small pieces (read “puffed”), creating an earthy, fluffy and delightful fish salad. The trick of this recipe is to combine the tangy fish with the sweet, sour and spicy green mango salad. This dish is best eaten as an aperitif with a group of friends or as a beer appetizer.
6. Gaeng Daeng (red curry)
Gaeng daeng is a herbal red curry containing meat, red curry paste and mild coconut milk, together with a sprinkle of sliced kaffir lime leaves on top. Despite its striking color, gaeng daeng is very mild, although you can ask for fresh chili if you’re in the mood for spicy foods. Vegetarians and vegans will still enjoy this curry by telling the chef to replace the meat with tofu.
7. Tod Mun Pla (Thai snack)
Tod Mun Pla is the most important Thai snack that should be on any table. Essentially a Thai fish cake, the dish is made from fish paste and long beans, flavored with red curry paste and makrut lime leaves. The lime leaves lend the dish a citrus, herbal scent. Tod Mun Pla is generally eaten with a sweet and refreshing sauce, or nam jim, containing sliced cucumbers, chili peppers, shallots and peanuts dipped in sugar syrup, fish sauce and vinegar. The result is a sweet and savory starter that can easily be turned into a white rice dish.
8. Thai papaya salad som tam
Papaya salad is a fairly common dish that many Thai foodies prefer to lean to. And that’s understandable. The traditional som tam usually found in Thai restaurants is sweet and spicy, tangy and refreshing, with crunchy and nutty elements. But the version most people miss includes phu pala, or fermented crab, which adds another aspect of flavor. Som tam phu pala still packs the crisp fresh papaya you’re looking for in a som tam dish, but it’s combined with a spicy, salty, fishy crab that’s sure to persuade you to order a second round.
9. Pad Phuk Tong (baked pumpkin)
Stir-fried pumpkin or “pad phuk tong” is one of the best vegetarian dishes in Smiles. Although it’s harder to find than a decent pad thai helper, you should certainly keep an eye out for this dish. If available, order it with a bowl of brown rice and you’ll laugh.
10. Phat kaphrao
Phat kaphrao is a street favorite that mixes fried meat with holy basil and a generous blend of fresh chili and garlic. Served over rice and sometimes topped with a fried egg, this is the epitome of a Thai-style one-course meal.
11. Pak Boong
Pak Bong known as Morning glory is considered to be super healthy. This traditional spinach-like vegetable is fried and seasoned with soya sauce, soybean paste, chili peppers and garlic. Morning glory is spicy, sour, salty and crunchy at the same time.
12. Khao Pad (Thai-style fried rice)
Khao Pad is one of the favorites of all locals. Khao is rice in Thai and Pad is stir-fry. Meals typically include the meat of your choice: shrimp, fish, pork, crab or beef with egg, onion, cilantro, garlic, tomatoes and delicious seasoning. Thai fried rice is cooked with jasmine rice, which is fragrant. It is usually served with slices of cucumber and lemon on the side.
13. Pad Thai (Thai-style fried noodles)
It’s probably one of the best-known dishes in Thailand. Handles of small, thin, or large noodles, with crispy bean sprouts, onion, and egg, are sautéed in a hot wok. It is also flavored with seasonings such as fish sauce, dried shrimp, garlic or shallots, red chili, and palm sugar. Pad Thai usually contains seafood, particularly fresh shrimp, crab, or squid, but some places serve with chicken, beef, or pork. Stir-fry noodles are frequently topped with lemon wedge, crushed toasted peanuts, bean sprouts, and fresh herbs.
14. Khao Soi (a noodle soup)
Khao Soi is another popular traditional noodle dish that is deliciously sourced from the northern parts of the country. It is primarily a soup broth that contains rich ingredients, including curry and coconut milk, which give it a rich, creamy consistency. It is common to see the broth covered with flat egg noodles that have been filled with fried egg noodles. Meats such as beef and chicken are also popular side dishes with khao soi.
15. Kai Jeow (Thai omelette)
Kai jeow is one of the simplest Thai foods, but it’s a fantastic protein-rich fast food to go or side with. Kai jeow is typically eaten with rice and sweet chili sauce. If you’re new to Thai food, Kai Jeow is a great way to start your day.
16. Pad Krapao
We finish with a real Thai classic Pad Krapao ( which means basil stir-fry) topped with, or served over, a crispy fried egg with a slightly runny yolk. Most of the street vendors around Thailand will serve krapao as it is a very popular lunchtime dish – indeed it is a joke in many offices when you don’t know what to order for lunch, you just order krapao. This dish is also quick and delicious to make at home – the only ingredient you may struggle to find outside of Asia is holy basil – you could use sweet basil instead.
Recipes for Thai food.
Here you can find recipes for Thai food that you can easily make. Thai food, once you have the ingredients ready and you have tried the recipe a few times. Dinner is ready in 10-15 minutes. It’s faster than take-out, and it tastes exactly the way you like it. But let’s get started. Are you hungry? (more recipes in early 2021).
Thai food easy and delicious recipes
Panang with curry
1. Cut chicken into edible chunks (approx. 2.5 cm). Make Strips of both kaffir lime leaves and basil leaves, and make sure the basil leaves are shredded quite nicely.
2. Heat some coconut milk in a wok until the oil appears on the surface. The amount depends on how much chicken you use and how thick/thin you want the sauce. Everything from the next soup to the almost thick sauce counts. Then add the curry paste and stir continuously, until the red oil separates.
3. Add the chicken and cook for about five minutes until done. Then add the remaining ingredients (except kaffir leaves and basil leaves) and stir well. Let it simmer for about fifteen minutes.
4. Add the shredded coffee lime leaves and basil leaves and stir for a few minutes.
5. Garnish with sliced red chili. Served hot accompanied by Thai jasmine rice
Coming soon to a Thai take away near you 🙂
- Octopuses can be prepared in so many ways. Here is a simple version that is also good with chicken
- Heat oil over medium-high heat in a sauté pan.
- Add garlic, onion and hot chili when the oil is hot. Saute for 3 minutes, or until garlic and onion are fragrant.
- Add squid. Increase to high heat and stir the squid for 5 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Now place green beans in the pan, then add brown sugar, fish sauce, oyster sauce. Stir a few times until all the ingredients are well spread out.
- Add basil leaves. Stir again.
- Turn off the heat. Sprinkle a pinch of chili powder over the squid. Serve with rice.
- Water, white wine and Thai beer are options to drink
Here another easy variation: Thai food, squid with curry sauce
Vegetarian Thai food
Thai food is so rich in vegetables and fruits, it is super easy to substitute meat and fish with more greens.
More to come in 2021.
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