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Food of Thailand - 10 Traditional Thai Dishes You Should Try

8 mins. read

Often referred to as “The Land of Smiles,” Thailand has many reasons to draw a traveller’s interest. From its tropical beaches to ancient ruins and temples and vibrant nightlife, Thailand makes a perfect destination with a timeless charm. Apart from its exotic destinations, the food of Thailand also lures tourists with its aromatic spell. Whether tourists are staying here for one day, one week, or a month, Thai cuisine has so much diversity that they do not have to eat the same dish twice. The food here changes as the location does, giving tourists many options as they travel from one city to another in Thailand. So, the best time to visit Thailand is when you have sufficient time to relax and enjoy local Thai dishes during your stay in diverse cities here. And when it comes to savouring the best Thai dishes, there are countless options.
Here is the list of 10 best Thai cuisines that you should try at least once:

Tom Yum Goong

One of the most famous dishes of Thailand, Tom Yum Goong, is a spicy and sour soup loaded with shrimp, vegetables, spices, and herbs. The origin of this dish is from the central part of the country, but now, it has become a popular name in the list of best Thai foods. The flavours of fresh Thai chillies, galangal, fresh lime juice, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves are combined to create a healthy and soothing soup with a magical taste. The creamy version of this soup has mushrooms, coconut cream, and all the Thai ingredients, giving it a more aromatic flavour.

Pad Thai

thai food

It is the national food of Thailand, served as street food and the main dish in restaurants. Pad Thai is a stir-fried rice noodle dish prepared with chicken, shrimp, or tofu. The rice noodles are stir-fried with your choice of protein – be it tofu or meat and eggs. It is served with garlic chives, red chilli pepper, chopped roasted peanuts, turnips, and lime on the side. It is Thailand’s special food, which you must try at least once.

Khao Soi

A creamy and spicy yellow curry that originated in Northern Thailand, Khao Soi is a popular dish among tourists. This authentic northern Thai soup is sure to please your tastebuds. Prepared with tender braised meat and boiled and fried noodles, Khao Soi is a thick coconut broth with flavours of lime, shallots, mustard, and ground chillies fried in oil. It is one of the finest Thai dishes and a must-try for those who want to have healthy food with high nutritional value.

Khao Phat

Another Thai food that is a must-try, Khao Phat, is popular in the country just like Biryani in India. In Thailand, Khao is called rice, and Phat refers to the stir-fried. It can be found in each city in Thailand, be it street food vendors or restaurants. Khao Phat is loaded with a flavour of herbs and spices and served with a spicy Thai fish sauce. It can be cooked with vegetables, pork, beef, chicken, or egg. Make sure to try this scrumptious dish when in Thailand.

Gaeng Keow Wan Gai

One of the signature dishes in Thailand, Gaeng Keow Wan Gai, is loved by everyone –both locals and tourists in the country. It contains a variety of vegetables, including Thai eggplant, pea aubergine, and meat (chicken, beef, or fish balls). Also, a blend of green curry pastes mixed with coconut cream creates a thick curry that is perfect to be served with fermented rice noodles and steamed rice for a quick lunch or dinner. Chilli is optional in this dish, making it an ideal choice for those who are not so fond of spices. One of the most popular foods in Bangkok, Tom Kha Gai, should be on your list of cuisines to be tasted in Thailand.

Pad Phuk Tong

Pad Phuk Tong

One of the best options for vegetarian Thai food, Pad Phuk Tong, is a simple yet incredibly tasty dish. Soft slices of pumpkin are stir-fried and combined with garlic, Thai basil, and soy sauce to make a unique savoury dish. This tasty dish is normally served on top of white simple rice or turmeric rice, although some people opt for brown rice instead. The rice perfectly complements this Thai food and gives you a well-rounded dish.

Chim Chum

Famous street food in Thailand, Chim Chum, is made with meat, vegetables, noodles, or mushrooms prepared in a small earthenware pot on a charcoal stove. Chim chum refer to as drip and drops, usually served with Nam Chim – a dipping sauce prepared with lime juice, shallots, chilli peppers, garlic, coriander, fish sauce, and palm sugar. Also known as Jim jum and Chaeo hon, the dish has many medical properties due to the herbs added to the broth. It is sure to give you a unique dining experience as the pot is not hidden in the kitchen but placed on the table around which you and other diners are seated.

Massaman Curry

It is a fusion of Indian and Thai style curries, prepared with both traditional Thai red curry pastes and dry whole Indian spices, including nutmeg, cumin, cinnamon, bay leaves, and coriander. This popular Thai dish includes protein options for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians, so you can easily customise it as needed. It can be made from all kinds of meats, including pork, chicken, and more. However, vegetarians can add tofu or fresh vegetables to their version of Massaman Curry. You can also add roasted and grounded peanuts to add an extra layer of texture and richness to the curry.

Som Tam

A delicious Thai salad, also known as Green Papaya Salad, is a healthy vegetarian food of Thailand served as a side dish for lunch, brunch, or dinner. It is a classic dish with origins in northern Thailand, combining all four flavours sweet, sour, salty, and chilli. While this famous Thailand food comes in a variety of styles, the classic Som Tom is made with shredded green papaya, palm sugar, runner beans, lime juice, carrots, tomatoes, peanuts, garlic, chillies, and tamarind pulp. In the non-vegetarian version of this dish, dried shrimp and fish sauce are also added.

Khao Niao Ma Muang

Khao Niao Ma Muang

A tropical summertime dessert, Khao Niao Ma Muang or Mango Sticky Rice is one of the most popular and delicious dishes in Thailand. The beauty of this vegetarian Thai food is that it uses some of the simplest ingredients like rice and mango. This authentic-tasting Thai dessert comprises glutinous rice, slices of fresh mango, coconut milk, salt, and sugar, to tickle all your tastebuds. In Thailand, Khao Niao Mamuang is eaten during the summers as it is a unique way for Thai people to enjoy fresh mangoes. So, when you plan your visit to the Land of Smiles between April to June, make sure to include this dish in your Thailand travel packages.
Apart from these, there are other Thai cuisine dishes that you can try, including Yam Nua (Beef Salad), Kuay Teow Reua (Rice Boat Noodles), Gaeng Som (Yellow Curry Soup), Kai Jeow (Thai Style Omelet), Yam Pla Duk Foo (Crispy Fish and Mango Salad), and Roti Gluay (Fried Banana Pancakes).
Most of these Thai dishes can be made vegetarian as per your requirements. So, vegetarians and vegans should not feel disheartened while in Thailand.
It is said that the dishes you savour in Thailand are as diverse as the magnificent tourist attractions in the country. So, when you plan to visit this beautiful Southeast Asian country, make sure to experience Thai food at its best.

July 27, 2022


Veena World
Veena World

We are an Indian travel company founded in 2013 and excel at domestic and international tour packages including guided group tours, specialty tours, customized holidays, corporate MICE travel, inbound travel and destination weddings.

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