Thailand is renowned all over the world because of its delicious cuisine. You can find everything from appetizers to sweets in Thailand. The dishes which are made by Thai chefs are well-balanced with savory, sweet, spicy, sour, and salty ingredients. You can find everything in the Land of Smiles that will whet your appetite. The variety of Thai food, especially its famous street food, is remarkable, and the majority of dishes consist of noodles, stir-fries, curries, soups, and salads. The best Thai foods are listed in this article and you can choose the perfect one according to your appetite.
The Best 22 Famous Foods in Thailand
These dishes can be found anywhere from street food carts to Michelin-starred restaurants in Bangkok. Here are the top picks for Thai cuisine that you must taste.
- Pad Thai
- Sai Ooah
- Khao Niao Mamuang
- Khao Pad
- Gaeng Massaman
- Gaeng Keow Wan Gai
- Laab Moo
- Hoy Tod
- Tod Mun Pla
- Poh Pia Tod
- Pad Kra Pao Moo
- Kaeng Lueang
- Som Tam
- Pla Kapung Nueng Manao
- Tom Yum Goong
- Kuay Teow Reua
- Gaeng Daeng
- Moo Ping
- Khao Soi
- Tom Kha Gai
- Moo Satay
- Mu Kratha
Chinese when emigrated to Thailand, they made Thai noodle meals for the first time, with Pad Thai being the most well-known. Because this food is not very spicy, this typical dish is a fantastic starting point for trying Thai cuisine. Pad Thai varies in every region but always has the same ingredients such as seafood (or chicken, pork, or tofu), fish sauce, dried shrimp, flat rice noodles, tamarind, shallots, bean sprouts, and egg. These ingredients are stir-fried in a hot wok and served on plates with roasted peanuts, fresh herbs, and hot peppers (optional). Pad Thai perfectly captures the distinctive sweet, sour, and salty flavor combination and well-balanced texture contrast of Thai cuisine.
Sai Ooah will make your mouth water more than anything. Northern Thailand is where you may find this delicious Thai sausage. Lemongrass, garlic, and chile are blended with minced pork to give it a fiery, lemony bite. Wait until you sample Sai Ooah if you think you enjoy conventional pig sausages.
Khao Niao Mamuang
Mango sticky rice, one of Thailand’s most popular traditional desserts, is a delectable way to end any Thai meal. This popular meal is made simply with sticky rice covered in coconut milk and fresh mango slices, and it may be found in even the most upmarket eateries or food stands.
Locals like this traditional Thai fried rice meal and order it frequently, especially for lunch. With eggs, onions, garlic, fish sauce, fresh herbs, tomatoes, or other vegetables, Khao Pad can be cooked with chicken, hog, beef, shellfish, or tofu. Cucumber slices, lime wedges, and other toppings are all added after the ingredients have been stir-fried with fragrant Jasmine rice. You can choose the level of spice and other seasonings because this rather straightforward dish can be prepared to order.
In terms of appearance and texture, massaman curry is comparable to penang curry. It has a foundation of coconut cream, making it creamy and delectable, and it tastes mild, sweet, tangy, and peanutty. Naturally, a variety of herbs and spices are added to improve it, including bay leaves, cinnamon, cumin, cilantro, galangal, lemongrass, nutmeg, and a long list of others.
Massaman curry is a Persian-influenced variation on Indian cuisine. Only onion and potato are present in this curry, which clearly lacks other veggies. So enjoy the double carbs and serve with some rice.
Gaeng Keow Wan Gai
Green curry, which hails from central Thailand, is the spiciest of all the curries and has an ideal amount of sweetness from the additional coconut milk. Fresh green chilies, ginger, eggplant, and plenty of coconut milk are a few delectable ingredients used to make green curry. To cut down on the spice, eat a lot of steamed rice.
Although it originated in the Northeast (Isaan), laab is now popular all over Thailand. It is typically offered with papaya salad and rice as part of a set dinner. Lime juice, fish sauce, chili flakes, fresh herbs, and toasted rice are all blended with minced pork. Although minced pig is the usual ingredient, poultry or duck are also frequently used to make laab.
You’ll be blatantly licking your plate clean after eating this meal. Hoy Tod, which means “deep-fried oysters,” is more like a large, crisp omelet filled with fresh, succulent oysters. Hoy Tod is served with cilantro and black pepper on a bed of bean sprouts.
Tod Mun Pla
This fish cake is another delicious Thai dish. Fresh fish, Thai basil, lime leaves, and green beans are used to make the dish, which is then shaped into patties and deep-fried. Tod Mun Pla is piled high on a dish and served with a fiery sauce that often consists of cucumber, vinegar, shallot, peanut, sugar, chili, and fish sauce.
Poh Pia Tod
Spring rolls are the food that everyone enjoys, but the Thai people are exceptionally skilled at making them. Thai spring rolls are excellent for appetizers or after a few Chang beers. Rice noodles are combined with carrot, cabbage, mushroom, and onion before being folded into a spring roll and deep-fried till crisp and golden. You can choose your meat from the variety they provide or prefer it without meat. It is entirely up to you.
Pad Kra Pao Moo
Pad Kra Pao Moo is a well-liked dish usually ordered in Thai restaurants. It offers a delectable sweet-spicy mix. After fresh chilies, green beans, garlic, fish sauce, shallots, and palm sugar have been stir-fried with minced pork and peppery basil leaves in a blistering hot wok, a fried egg is placed on top of a plate of steaming white rice. You can use beef, tofu, minced chicken, duck, or any other type of meat in place of pork.
Thailand is known for its spicy curries, which can range from mild to explosive, sweet to sour, and are always made with coconut milk, giving them a soup-like consistency. There are other regional variations, but the three primary curry types—red, green, and yellow—are the most well-known globally. These types range in terms of their level of spice and critical components.
Southern Thailand has a significant influence on yellow curry, which has a rich texture and distinctive color thanks to the liberal use of turmeric. The traditional aromatic components, which typically include coriander, cumin, shallots, lemongrass, and galangal, are pounded with this.
In addition to the chicken, veggies, potatoes, and your choice of tofu or another protein source are added. This curry style is suitable for people who prefer a mellower taste because it often contains fewer chilies and is less hot than its green and red curry equivalents.
Som Tam, arguably Thailand’s most well-known salad dish, is believed to have originated in Laos but is now a delicious north-eastern specialty and one of Thailand’s most adored foods. Som Tam is not your ordinary salad and comes in several forms.
The traditional recipe, however, typically calls for shredded green papaya, red chilies, fish sauce, lime juice, tamarind pulp, and palm sugar. These ingredients are then combined with vegetables like cherry tomatoes, carrots, and runner beans. Roasted peanuts and dried shrimp are also frequently added for their nutty and crunchy textures.
These are ground up in a pestle and mortar, giving them a particular sweet, savory, spicy, salty, and sour flavor. Regional variations include fermented crab or the substitution of papaya for mangoes to provide an entirely new flavor depth.
Pla Kapung Nueng Manao
The world’s most significant and freshest fish may be found in Thailand. On any essential coastal strip in Thailand, you may see rows of restaurants with their catch of the day on the ice, ready to be grilled for you to enjoy.
The locals favor red snapper or barramundi (Asian seabass). Fresh off the boat, steamed and accompanied by a generous amount of raw garlic, cilantro, and chili in a spicy lime sauce. Both are flavorful and recent. Undoubtedly, this dish is among Thailand’s healthier options.
Tom Yum Goong
This famous soup is a spicy, sour, and aromatic tastebud feast and one of Thailand’s most well-known foods. This spicy soup, which originates from the central part of Thailand, gets its distinctive qualities from the fusion of flavorful ingredients, including aromatic lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, fish sauce, lime juice, mushrooms, shallots, galangal, and red chili peppers.
Although shrimp (Goong) is the most popular ingredient and is thought to be the tastiest, there also are other varieties, including chicken, fish, or mixed seafood. Tom Yum Goong is a delicacy of the north, which offers a gentler, sweeter, and more delicious alternative if you find this dish too hot. It has the same exquisite tastes and spices, but the chilies are optional, and the creamy coconut milk reduces the heat.
Kuay Teow Reua
These Thai Boat Noodles are beloved and got their name from the merchants who sell them from boats. Kuay Teow Reua is a gorgeously dark, rich broth which has pig’s blood as a secret ingredient. It is advised to keep an open mind since you’ll want more after eating these noodles.
Red curries are one of the most popular curry types in Thailand. They tend to be milder than green curries but spicier than yellow curries. Crushed red chilies in the curry paste—a mixture of garlic, shallots, blue ginger, and lemongrass—which is then combined with coconut milk, vegetables like eggplant, mushrooms, or tomatoes, and chicken breast slices—give this rich, sweet, and aromatic curry its unique red hue. With the addition of thinly sliced kaffir leaves and sweet basil, the curry is finished off, creating a perfectly harmonious blend of creamy and spicy broth that will tingle your senses.
Moo Ping is a tiny slice of pork shoulder marinated in cilantro root, garlic, pepper, and oyster sauce; it’s a favorite of those on the road. It is barely grilled on charcoal, and sticky rice is served with it. Every street seller and night market around the nation offers this traditional delicacy. You will never eat the same Moo Ping twice because each vendor will use their unique marinade. The locals eat it frequently during breakfast.
In Thailand, noodle soups are a common street food item available day or night. One of the most popular types is Khao Soi (or Soy), a dish popular in Chiang Mai and other parts of Northern Thailand. This soup with Burmese influences is well-known for its creamy coconut milk base, mildly spicy and aromatic curry broth, soft egg noodles, and beef, chicken, or tofu. Deep-fried crispy egg noodles, pickled vegetables, and thinly sliced shallots are added as a garnish. Khao Soi is delicious, soothing, spicy, sweet, and creamy in one mouthful.
Tom Kha Gai
In Thailand, Tom Kha Gai is well-known as a national dish that is inspired by Latian food and also is very common in Northern Thailand. This dish is rich and creamy due to its chicken and coconut milk. After testing this dish, you will fall in love with the flavor of coconut milk because it is a staple in Southeast Asian cooking. It is less spicy than other Thai specialties, and even those who don’t like spicy food can enjoy it.
Early in the 15th century, the Indonesians in Java, Indonesia, developed the barbecue dish known as satay from the grilled meat served in India. It eventually expanded to many Southeast Asian nations, influencing dishes from Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, and other nations. Your mouth will moisten when the coconut milk-seasoned pork slices are cooked over charcoal. To really enjoy the flavor of this hot beef, serve it with a cucumber salad and peanut sauce.
Mu Kratha doesn’t require unique ingredients; you can pick your favorite cuts of meat, seafood, or vegetables and get cooking. You can grill meats on the domical hot plate surface and cook vegetables in a fragrant broth in the bottom moat. It’s a terrific option for a leisurely meal and a few drinks with friends or family.