Thailand has by far some of the best food in Southeast Asia, if not THE best. Besides the beautiful beaches, and amazing people, it’s one of the things we love most about Thailand. With so many different options to choose from, and each and every dish packed full of flavour, what’s not to love?
If you are new to Thailand, and a little taken back from the huge variety of dishes, not to worry, you are in luck. Below we have put together a list of some of the best Thai dishes to try, that will surely get your taste buds dancing.
Thai Soups And Curries
Khao Soi Gai – Yellow Noodle Chicken Soup
Khao Soi is a northern dish and a must have when visiting this part of Thailand. Without a doubt, it’s one of our favourite Thai dishes to eat when we are here. This delicious meal is a blend of boiled yellow egg noodles, mixed in a coconut milk curry broth with chicken drumsticks, topped with crispy egg noodles.
Some local Thai restaurants will have a side table full of red shallots, sliced limes, and pickled mustard greens. Grab yourself a side plate and mix it into your Khao Soi.
Massaman Curry is the perfect Thai dish to try for anyone who is missing potatoes as much as we do. Being Irish and German, potatoes are the staple of our diet :-). Made up solely of chicken and potato, this tasty dish is mixed with fried peanuts, veg, and cooked in a coconut milk based curry.
With its sweet taste, Massaman is one of the best Thai dishes to try for those looking for a curry not too spicy.
Gaeng Kiaw Wan – Green Curry
Thai green curry is one of the most popular curries found across Thailand, and also one of the spiciest. The actual paste itself is made up of green chillies. If it’s spicy you are looking for, then you are in for a treat.
Rich in vegetables, this spicy green curry is a mix of Thai green eggplant, long green beans, baby corn, sweet basil leaves, paired with a delicious coconut milk base.
As our preferred choice, we mostly order our curries with chicken. However, all curries have the option to be served with tofu, veggies, or both to meet all needs.
Stir Fried Dishes
Pad Kra Paow Gai – Stir Fried Minced Chicken With Basil
Being in Thailand for quite a while, we never really ordered this dish until early 2017. Now it has become our favourite Thai dish to eat when we are back. Pad Kra Paow Gai is a minced chicken dish served with stir-fried basil leaves, long green beans, garlic, and a lot of chillies on a bed of rice.
After a while, the kick from the chillies becomes kind of addictive. Even though we are left with our mouths on fire, we always come back for more. To top off this meal, ask for a fried egg on top.
Pad Thai – Stir Fried Noodles
The famous Pad Thai is found on every street corner and every restaurant in Thailand. This will probably be one of the first Thai dishes you try after arriving in Bangkok. With its simple ingredients of noodles, egg, tofu, and bean sprouts, it can be cooked in no time.
You can also order it with chicken, pork or shrimp. To complete your Pad Thai, add some chilli flakes, fresh lime juice, and crushed peanuts.
There are many more different types of stir fried dishes that Thailand has to offer. Such as cashew nut chicken, stir fried curry with chicken, and stir-fried vegetables on rice just to mention a few.
Larb Gai/Moo – Minced Chicken/Pork Salad
Larb is a northern Thai dish of the Isaan Province. Not a vegetable salad as we know it, but a warm served salad containing mostly meat.
This minced meat dish is seasoned with green and red onions, roasted rice powder, lime, fish sauce, and of course chilly. Combined with some sticky rice, Larb makes a great flavorful meal.
Som Tam – Papaya Salad
Som Tam or also known as Papaya Salad is one of the best Thai dishes to try and to compliment any meal. This salad is a combination of green papaya, green beans, peanuts, tomatoes, fish sauce, lime, and chillies. Always served fresh, Papaya Salad has a crunchy, sweet and sour taste.
Found throughout Thailand, you will not walk more than ten feet without stumbling across a Som Tam stall.
With different variations, it is possible that your salad might come with crab or dried shrimp. So if you are not a big fan of shellfish, then make sure to mention it before you order.
Simple But Satisfying Thai Dishes To Try
Khao Man Gai – Rice With Chicken
Who could think that this simple Thai dish can be so delicious? This is Hainanese style rice and chicken, served with a small bowl of chicken broth, and a soy based spicy sauce. For us, it is the rich flavorful sauce which really makes this basic dish so tasteful, and putting it on the list of the best Thai dishes to try.
Not so much a dish but more of a snack. These are a perfect quick and easy choice when you are strolling the buzzing streets of Bangkok, or any night market.
Some Helpful Phrases When Ordering
When ordering Thai dishes in some of the smaller local restaurants, you might find yourself coming up against a language barrier, hoping the sweet Thai lady understood you saying “not too spicy please”. Therefore, we have put together some useful phrases to help you with your next order.
Not spicy – mai pet
A little bit spicy – pet nit noi
Very spicy – pet mak
No sugar – mai sam tam
Bigger portion – pi set
Without shrimp – mai kung henk
Without crab – mai poo
Fried egg – kai dao
Very delicious – aroi mak
Do you love Thai food as much as we do? Would you agree with our list of the best Thai dishes to try or would you add something else to this list? Share with us in the comments below.