Thailand is famous around the world for many things. Tourists every year flock to the country to visit its beautiful beaches and stunning temples. The Kingdom is also the origin of “Muay Thai”, a type of mixed martial arts which was immortalised in various Hollywood films. However, more famous than all of these is its cuisine. Thai food is famous world over for being one of the most delicious and flavourful cuisines. With the use of Thai chilis, garlic, herbs and many other aromatic ingredients, Thai food has its very own unique taste. Here, we’ve compiled a list of top Thai food dishes that you cannot pass up:
1. Tom Yum Goong – Spicy Thai Soup with Shrimp
In the local language, “Tom” means boiling, and “Yum” refers to a sour and spicy salad. Tom Yum, then, is a sour and spicy soup that is usually served in an aluminium hot pot with a charcoal burner. The soup usually features meat but the most popular is shrimp (Goong in Thai).
2. Gaeng Keow Wan Gai – Thai Green Curry with Chicken
The main ingredients in this popular dish are green curry paste and coconut milk, with a meat of your choice. The coconut milk gives the curry a creamy consistency that contrasts beautifully with the green curry paste and the taste of searing heat it brings. It is usually eaten with a plate of rice.
3. Khao Soi – Northern Thai Noodles with Curry
Khao Soi is a famous noodle dish from the northern part of Thailand. It’s made with curry and coconut milk. The broth is then topped with flat egg noodles. Meats such as chicken and beef and it are usually garnished with red onions, pickled mustard greens and lime juice.
4. Khao Pad – Fried Rice
Thai fried rice is different than from any other Asian country, the biggest difference being that Jasmine rice is used in Thailand. Other ingredients in Khao Pad are onions, garlic, an egg, and sometimes slices of tomatoes. Another reason that Thai fried rice is different is that it’s common to add “prik naam pla,” which is a fish sauce with chilis and garlic.
5. Pad Grapao Moo Sab Kai Dow – Minced Pork with Thai Basil and Fried Egg
Minced pork with Thai basil is one of the staple meals in the Thai food culture. Minced pork is cooked in a hot wok with Thai basil leaves, chilis, garlic, oyster sauce and soy sauce. This Thai food classic is then served over rice. Most people will order this dish with a crispy fried egg on top.
6. Pad See Ew-Stir Fried Rice Noodles
The dish is made with full rice noodles that are cooked in a wok with a dark soy sauce, eggs, Chinese broccoli and garlic. Many people typically order it with chicken, pork or shrimp. Pad See Ew can be ordered at most street-side restaurants and food stalls.
7. Som Tam – Green Papaya Salad
Som Tam is made from shredded papaya and is mixed with various ingredients including chilis, garlic, lime juice, fish sauce, tomatoes and long beans. A popular addition to Som Tam is a raw blue crab.
8. Massaman Curry
Massaman Curry is a famous Thai Muslim dish with heavy Persian influences.
The flavour from this dish comes from an array of spices which include cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin and usually features meat such as chicken or beef, as well as potatoes along with a plate of rice.
9. Pad Thai – Thai Style Fried Noodles
Probably the most famous Thai food known across the world is Pad Thai. Pad Thai is cooked in a very hot wok with eggs, tofu, chilli pepper, garlic and other various ingredients. Favourite additive meats to eat in Pad Thai are shrimp and chicken. It’s also typically garnished with bean sprouts, spring onion, peanuts and lime juice.
10. Pla Pao – Thai Style Grilled Fish
Pla Pao can be seen grilling by many street vendors and local restaurants with Red tilapia or snakehead fish being the most commonly used types of fish. Pla Pao is usually eaten with a plate of rice and a spicy Thai seafood sauce.