We all have heard about that one “Bangkok trip” with the great massages and “the fun” they had there, But the fact that I have never heard someone praise the trip or reason it with the incredible Thai food is sad. Thai food is widespread across the whole world for its spice and hotness. If you love to challenge yourself with different spice levels, I’d suggest you try some of these famous Thai cuisines. Thai food is also trendy for its perfectly balanced flavours’ in each dish, be it – sweet, spicy, sour, bitter, salty.
If I talk about Thailand as a country, it is well-known for its diverse culture. Thai dishes reflect the diverse culture of their country. Thai dishes have more than 3-4 flavours’ in them. The ingredients of each dish not only harmonize the flavors but also make it delicious. If considered as a single cuisine, Thai food would be more precisely described as four regional cuisines matching the country’s four main regions: Northern, North-eastern (or Isan), Central, and Southern. The list of Thai dishes you must try is way too long but don’t worry; I’d bring you the top 20 dishes, which are a must-try.
1Guay Teow (Noodle soup)
Guay Teow is one of Thai’s most popular dishes and is nearly everywhere. Guay Teow describes noodle soup of any kind. It can be manufactured using chicken, pork or beef, or rice-noodles or egg-friendly noodle; it can be made in different varieties, be it for non-vegetarians or vegetarians. Vendors add meatballs or wontons to the frying pan most of the time. A selection of condiments is best prepared, including sugar, dried pepper, lime juice, and fish sauce. It is one of the easiest Thai dishes to prepare, so you can easily have it after a long day when you don’t feel like putting in too much effort for food.
2Tom yum or Tom yam (Spicy Shrimp Soup)
If you are a spice lover along with love for seafood, this is the dish for you. Tom yum is created with essential Thai ingredients such as citrus fruits, chili, galangal, lime leaves, shallots, fresh lime juice, and plenty of fish sauce. If you prefer a creamy version, you can also add fresh prawns, mushrooms, and cocoa cream. If you don’t have high spice tolerance, don’t be disheartened because you can ask for a mild version or a plain one that has its unique sour flavour. A bowl of hot Tom yum with a chilled drink sounds pleasing to me.
3Som Tam (Spicy Green Papaya Salad)
Now I know that most Thai dishes consist of either seafood or non-veg food, as a vegetarian our options lessen in countries by the shore but don’t worry Som Tam is a very famous vegetarian Thai dish with exotic flavours. If you want to take a break from all the junk and go green with all the flavours and the spice, you must give a try to Som Tam; it’s a spicy papaya salad with a combination of all five flavours- sour, hot, salty, savoury, and sweet. It is also known as the “hangover food,” so you know what to eat after a “fun” night in Bangkok.
4Tom Kha Kai (Chicken Coconut Soup)
Without a few soups, there would be no list of excellent Thai dishes complete. Tom Kha Gai’s not being amazed by most tourists. Indeed, they’re missing out. It is sweet and sour prepared by combining coconut milk, shallots, chicken, and veggies. It’s exceptionally healthy; many Thai folks treat it and eat it when they’re chilly, like chicken noodle soup. Tom Kha Gai is similar to Tom Yum and offers a chance to enjoy the same lovely flavours to people with lower tolerance.
5Laab (Spicy Minced Meat Salad)
This dish is originally from Laos. It is north-eastern meat or mushroom mint style salad that comes from Isan’s northeast region. Laab is available in several styles, such as chicken, pork, and mushroom. The meal is best served with sticky rice and a large glass of iced coke, which would bring the spice to your brain. The food is not desirable for those who can’t handle spice as it tends to come with a heavy kick of spice- prepared with minced pork, fish cooked with vegetables. Some like to make it with chilies and fish sauce.
Pad Thai (stir-fried rice noodle)
Now, this is a dish I am sure you would have heard of before suffering through this page; there are chances that you already love it and have tried it as it is one of the Thai national dishes. It is comparatively cheaper and often found in every corner. It is really what you call a “go-to dish” for tourists. Pad Thai is a noodle dish made with chicken and shrimp mostly. It is available in vegetarian options as well, consisting of tofu, veggies, and various spices.
7Khao Pad (Fried Rice)
This dish undoubtedly is the least intriguing meal on our menu, but that doesn’t make it any less delicious. Fried rice is an Asian dish that isn’t always associated with Thailand. Each country, though, has its unique take on the popular meal. Wok-fried chicken, eggs, vegetables, onion, and fish sauce are everyday dishes in Thailand. Some places even serve it “American-style,” with hot dogs and ketchup.
8Kai Jeow (Thai Omelette)
Now I know you all must be wondering what is so special about an omelet but trust me, Kai Jeow is different and unique on its own. The eggs are deep-fried in oil, making them crispier than any other omelet you’ve ever had. It’s a popular breakfast item in Thailand, and many people eat it with ketchup and chili sauce. Some people prefer eating it over rice too. You can create your own little Kai Jeow recipe.
9Pad Krapow (Fried Basil)
Now for something a little simpler; this isn’t a five-star dish, but it sure tastes like one. Pad krapow is often made with minced pork or chicken meat (although tofu works as well), which is stir-fried with Thai basil and plenty of chilies. Pad krapow is not for those with the faint of heart: the Thai basil has a very harsh, peppery flavour, and the chilies add a hefty amount of spice. But it is a must-try!
10Pad See Eiw (Thick Noodle Soup)
Pad See Ew is a Thai dish with a Chinese twist. You’ll feel full after eating this because of the thick rice noodles. The noodles are stir-fried with an unlimited amount of dark soy sauce, pork/chicken, egg, broccoli, and garlic. If you want the natives to think you know what you’re doing, add the chilies, lime, vinegar, and sugar by yourself. It’s one of the other recipes to help you recover from a hangover!
11Pad Phak (Fried Vegetables)
Pad Phak is another pleasure for vegetarians; vegans can also hunt for this meal. Therefore, you should try it by combining this meal with sugar, spices, and salt that gives it a variety of flavors; this recipe will delight everyone, whether they are vegetarian, non-vegetarian, or vegan. The best aspect is that it is healthy.
12Khao Soi (Curry Soup)
We have seen in cartoons grouping up the Asian curries. Ever wonder how they taste?
Khao Soi is one of the most out-of-the-ordinary Thai curries on the market. It is created with egg noodles and chicken or beef that’s been simmered in an orange broth of coconut milk, herbs, and spices. The dish is also a great example of Burmese and Chinese culinary influences on Thai cuisine.
13Gaeng Keow Wan (Green Curry)
Now you all must wonder every dish on the list yet is spicy, but oh no! they are not even close to matching the spice level of Gaeng Keow Wan, which is purely made out of green chilies. So you will need to brace yourself up for this one. Make sure to sit with a glass of milk if you plan on having this one. But don’t worry, its coconutty flavour would be pleasing to your tongue.
14Pak Boong (The Morning Glory)
“The Morning Glory” sounds like such a Michelin dish but trust me, it’s one of the Thai staple dishes. It is a dish you want to have when you decide to go healthy; it is made of fruits and vegetables. Many would say it’s like a salad only, but the unique flavour of oyster sauce makes it mouth-watering delicious than any boring salad. Give it a try if you are a fitness freak!
15Gai Pad Med Mamuang (Chicken with Cashew nuts)
Thailand is pretty famous for its cashew-made products too, like drinks and candies. Now Gai Pad Med Mamuang is a sweet and flavoured dish made of chicken meat stirs with cashew nuts. It is loved both by the locals as well as the foreigners. If you are tired of the spice, give this sweet dish a try.
It is one of the most popular Thai dishes among visitors from other countries. Because it is so mild, it is a favourite of many travellers. Its origins can be traced back to the Muslim minority of southern Thailand. Chicken, coconut milk, potato, peanuts, cinnamon, and tamarind sauce are common ingredients. You can add chilies yourself according to the taste. Again, one of the dishes you enjoy with iced coke.
17Khao Niew Mamuang (Mango sticky rice)
Being a dessert lover, I can’t complete this list without adding a few of the best dessert dishes in Thailand. Khao Niew Mamuang is a very famous Thai dessert that you must try. You would appreciate it more if you are a mango lover since it is a mango-based dish. It is an excellent dish for summer.
18Khanom bueang (Sweet Thai Crepe)
Banana pancakes are certainly something you will discover in every town on your solo trips to Bangkok. The dessert includes freshly cooked sweets Thai crepes with meringue, egg whites, and sugar, topped with egg yolk. The delicacy is also prepared from a thick cream.
19Nem Nuong Coun (Spring Rolls)
How can we miss out on spring rolls when we talk about Asian food, be it Chinese, Thai, or whatever? Often these are often as appetizers with sweet and sour sauce. You’d find this at any corner of the world.
20Yum Pla Duk Foo
Yum Pla Duk Foo refers to the crispy catfish with green mango salad as a typical Thai seafood meal. The meal is ready-to-eat street food in Thailand made with Thai grilled catfish (Pla Duk Yang). As the name suggests, after cooking, the fish is served with a Green Mango Salad and Jasmine Rice.