What would you like for dinner?”
“Not Thai Food..” said no one.
Thailand is one of travellers’ top destinations for food hunters which you will find variety of Thai food differ by regions. Some of Thai dishes are even listed in the world’s most delicious food. Due to the fact that Thai people like to eat out and they like to eat all the time, there are heaps of Thai street foods –particularly in the capital city Bangkok– for you to explore or you may choose to eat out in fancy restaurants in affordable prices. Recommended by locals and travellers, here are top 10 Thai dishes to eat while visiting Thailand.
Pad Thai (ผัดไทย)
Pad Thai was introduced during the World War II when Thai government at that time wanted to economise rice consumption by encouraging more noodles consumption. A meaning of ‘Pad’ is often misunderstood by foreigners by noodles but its actual meaning is fried, so Pad Thai basically means fried noodles. Pad Thai is one of Thai’s famous dishes.
A combination of Chan noodles, tamarind sauce, bean sprout, tofu, and prawns will make your authentic Pad Thai dish delicious. They are literally sold in almost every street corner in Bangkok or even in restaurants. Some places serve Pad Thai on top of banana leaf which was used as containers back in the old days.
Simply say “Pad Thai Tee Nung” to a local chef and you will soon enjoy this Thai’s proudly present dish. If you want to learn more basic Thai words, visit my other post for more –Click here.
Tom Yum Kung (ต้มยำกุ้ง)
Tom Yum Kung is also Thai’s all-time favourite dish with herbs, chillies, lime juice, and prawn. It is one of Thai’s famous foods and is widely served in South East Asian countries. You may order Tom Yum Kai (Tom Yum soup with chicken) instead if you’re not a fan of seafood.
A hot bowl of authentic Tom Yum Kung with jasmine rice allows you to enjoy a classic taste of Thailand.
Som Tam (ส้มตำ)
Also known as Green Papaya Salad, papayas were originally from South America and were made in to one of Thai authentic dishes by adding fish sauce, lime juice, peanuts, sugar, and spices. Som Tam has many options while the most popular option is to add fermented fish or Plara – I personally recommend ‘Som Tam Thai’ if it is your first time trying out this eat.
Enjoy this dish either with sticky rice or vermicelli rice noodle. Don’t forget to order grilled chicken (Gai Yaang)! And you’re welcome!
Also known as mince pork salad, it is one of Thai’s popular dishes influenced by Lao cuisine. This dish is commonly served with sticky rice. There are Northern Thai and North-eastern Thai versions of Laab which are slightly different but yummy for both!
Green Curry (แกงเขียวหวาน)
What distinguishes this dish from other curry dishes is the green colour of curry paste which was made by green chillies and herbs pounding in Thai mortar. Green curry can be served with jasmine rice, naan breads, or rice noodles (Khanom Chin).
Massaman Curry (แกงมัสมั่น)
This dish was once ranked first place for “World’s 50 Most Delicious Food” by a website CNNGO.com. Massaman curry was claimed to be originally from Southern part of Thailand which was evolved from Indian and Malay dishes. This cumin-scented curry is popular among Thai Muslims because it doesn’t contain pork. Massaman has been Thai’s beloved food for several decades.
Even the King Rama II wrote a poem for his wife reads,
“Massaman, a curry made by my beloved, is fragrant of cumin and strong spices.
Any man who has swallowed the curry is bound to long for her.”
Pad Krapao (ผัดกะเพรา)
Also known as Stir-fried basil with minced pork, this is a Thai’s everyday dish. Thai people seem to eat Pad Krapao when they don’t know what to eat. This dish is available in every street corners of Thailand. Pad Krapao can be added fried egg or Thai style omelette for around 1p (10 cents) extra.
Thai Salad (ยำ)
Forget about ordinary salad, Thai style spicy salad is not only healthy but also helps boosting your metabolism by chili. Thai salad has a wide range of styles including glass noodles salad, green mango salad with deep-fried catfish, pommelo salad, and so on.
Pad See Eiw (ผัดซีอิ้ว)
Being often confused with Pad Thai, Pad See Eiw is another version of fried noodles that can be translated as fried noodles with soy sauce. You can choose either you want thick or thin noodles. A sweet taste of See Eiw or think soy sauce in this fried noodles makes this dish very special and appetising.
Pineapple Fried Rice (ข้าวผัดสับปะรด)
What makes this Thailand’s signature dish unique is a fresh pineapple added in to this dish that even some restaurants serve this delicious fried rice in a pineapple shell. Not only a taste of fresh pineapple that makes this dish become travellers’ favourite but also shrimps, shredded pork, and cashew nuts that turn out to be an amazing Thai dish.