Traveling in Thailand is an experience like none other. The food, the culture, and the people are all unique and authentic. You can find all sorts of different food here, from street food to high-end restaurants. If you’re looking for some incredible dishes to try during your time in Thailand, look no further.
Thai food has a rich and complex history that is impossible to capture in just one article. Thai food is heavily influenced by both Indian and Chinese cuisine. This means that you can find all sorts of different flavors and ingredients in Thai food. From curries to noodles, there is something for everyone.
Another thing to keep in mind is the spiciness of Thai food. Many dishes are quite spicy, so be prepared for a flavorful (and sometimes hot) experience. Thai food is often served with rice. So make sure you leave room for a big bowl of steamed rice on your plate.
Here are some of the most mouth-watering dishes for you to try while you’re visiting or living there. Make sure to know all these dishes before you ever book accommodations if you’re staying in the country for just a short while.
1. Som Tam
This spicy papaya salad is a staple of Thailand. It has a sweet and sour taste uncommon to many Western palates. It’s made with shredded green papaya, tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, palm sugar, string beans, peanuts, and a pungent fish sauce called “pla raa.” This sauce provides another mystical flavor called “kua kling.” For those who love their food piping hot as well as infused with shrimp paste or fermented fish sauce, you also have the option of adding some fresh Thai chilies or red chili powder to this dish for that extra kick!
2. Tom Yum Gung
Tom Yum soup comes in both spicy and non-spicy varieties, but either way, it’s a delicious and fragrant introduction to Thai cuisine. It’s made with shrimp, lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, tomatoes, mushrooms, and onions. The broth is flavored with fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, and chili peppers.
3. Pad Thai
This is one of the most well-known dishes in Thailand. It’s a stir-fried noodle dish made with shrimp, rice noodles, chicken or tofu, bean sprouts, and eggs. The sauce is made with tamarind paste, fish sauce, sugar, and chili peppers.
4. Green Curry
This curry dish is made with green curry paste, a mix of chilies, garlic, lemongrass, galangal, shrimp paste, and kaffir lime leaves. The paste is simmered in coconut milk with bamboo shoots, eggplant, bell peppers, and Thai basil.
5. Massaman Curry
This is another popular curry dish that has Indian influences. The Massaman curry paste is made with roasted red chili peppers, onions, garlic, ginger, cardamom pods, cloves, cumin seeds, and coriander seeds. The paste is simmered in coconut milk with beef or chicken and potatoes.
6. Khao Soi
This noodle dish is originally from the north of Thailand. Its made with wide rice noodles in a spiced yellow curry broth with sliced shallots, pickled cabbage, and lime on the side.
7. Pad Woonsen
This dish is made by stir-frying glass noodles in a sweet black soy sauce with shrimp, pork belly, ginger, and garlic chives. It’s one of the most classic noodle dishes in Thailand.
8. Mee Krob
Deep-fried egg noodles are coated in an intensely sweet sauce made with sugar, vinegar, and chili powder. The dish is garnished with cubes of deep-fried tofu for some extra protein.
9. Crystal Dumplings
These dumplings are stuffed with chicken or vegetables and wrapped in wonton wrappers before being covered in cornstarch and deep-fried. They’re then served with a sweet chili sauce for dipping.
10. Yam Nua
This dish is made from thinly sliced beef marinated in a mix of fish sauce, garlic, sugar, and pepper before being grilled. It’s typically eaten with a spicy green papaya salad on the side.
Meat kebabs are a popular type of street food in Thailand. They’re made with chicken, beef, or pork marinated in a mix of soy sauce, garlic, pepper, and sugar before being grilled.
12. Coconut Ice Cream
This iconic Thai dessert is made from coconut milk, sugar, and eggs. It’s typically flavored with pandanus leaves, but it is also flavored with jackfruit, durian, or mango.
13. Mango with Sticky Rice
This sweet and simple dish is made by steaming sticky rice that is then served with ripe mango slices, coconut cream, and a pinch of salt.
14. Panaeng Curry
Panaeng curry paste is made from dried chilies soaked in warm water until they’re softened before being mixed with roasted peanuts, lemongrass, shallots, garlic, and shrimp paste. The curry yellow curry broth goes well over chicken or beef, and it can be found in most Thai restaurants in Thailand.
15. Banana Pancakes
These pancakes are stuffed with bananas and drenched in condensed milk before being fried to perfection. They’re crispy on the outside but soft on the inside, making them a great breakfast option.
There are so many delicious Thai dishes to try. You could easily spend an entire year exploring them all! But these are an excellent place to start. So what are you waiting for? Book your trip to Thailand today.
Bernard is a recreational lone traveler, looking for the next hiking adventure ideally in the winter/spring seasons. His favorite hiking locations are the Philippines, Hong Kong and the Kansai Area of Japan. He published his travels on his Youtube Channel “Wandelust” for the most important person in his life – his Mom.