12 Thai Foods That You Must Try in Thailand
Thailand is famous for one of the best cuisines in the world. The balance between various flavors and different aromatic ingredients makes Thai food special. The country is a paradise for all the foodies around the world, so a post about best dishes I’ve had here cannot be missing. Here is the compilation of the most popular (and my favorite) foods from Thailand.
1. Pad Thai
Pad Thai is probably the most popular Thai dish outside Thailand and that’s why all the tourist spots are flooded with stalls and restaurants serving traditional stir fried noodle with tofu, beansprouts, peanuts, shrimp or chicken, fish sauce, egg and lime juice. The best thing about Pad Thai is that it is hard to get a bad one. It is a sort of Thai equivalent to pizza – even if it is not delicious it is still Pad Thai and you can’t really complain.
2. Tom Yum Soup
A combination of different spices and tastes in one bowl makes this dish a real delicacy that Thais are proud of. Shrimp, mushrooms, tomatoes, lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves mixed together will provide you with aromatic flavor you can’t resist. Remember though that “tom yum” means spicy, so if you are not a big fan ask for less spicy version.
3. Papaya Salad (Som Tum)
The most popular salad in Thailand is another example of combining different flavors into one consistent taste. Grated green papaya is mixed with tamarind juice, fish sauce, peanuts, dried shrimp, tomatoes, lime juice, sugar cane paste, string beans, garlic and chilies in a special big mortar.
4. Green Curry (Gang Keow Wan)
One of the most famous curries in Thailand and definitely a must if you like curries. The dish is based on green curry paste, coconut milk, bamboo shoots, chicken, Thai basil, Thai eggplant and different herbs popular in Thai cuisine. It is usually served with steamed rice, but you can also eat this as a soup.
5. Panang Curry (Gai Panang)
Panang Curry is usually milder than other curries, so if you are not into spicy food, you should try this alternative. The composition of red curry paste fried up with chicken and then doused with coconut cream will give you a rich exotic flavor.
6. Massaman Curry (Gang Massaman)
This sweet curry was brought to Thailand by Muslims and you should also give it a try. Personally, Massaman is my favorite. It combines curry paste, coconut milk, a strong flavor of peanuts. It usually contains chicken, potatoes and pinapple.
7. Mango Sticky Rice (Kao Niew Ma Muang)
Before I first tried mango sticky rice I had always refused to spoil the perfect taste of mango fruit with some rice and coconut milk. But that was a mistake. Sticky rice soaked up in coconut cream syrup with some small dried mango chips brings out the flavor of juicy mango fruit. It literally metls in your mouth.
8. Rolled Ice-cream
It is probably more about the way how they prepare them rather than the taste itself, but rolled ice-cream is worth a try. Basically you choose a topping first which can be your favorite fruit, cookies or nuts, next you pick a cream flavor and then everything is mixed and spread over a frozen pan. When the mixture freezes it is rolled up and put into a cup.
I know two places in Bangkok where you can get rolled ice-cream. One is next to the Central Pinklao mall and another in the JJ Green night market.
9. Stir-fried Noodles (Pad See Ew)
Aromatic dish with wide rice noodles, chicken (or pork), soy sauce, garlic, Chinese broccoli, egg and Thai herbs. Everything is fried in a wok to give you a unique taste. Personally, it is one of my favorite noodles in Thailand and definitely much better than well-known Pad Thai.
10. Fried Rice (Khao Pad)
Simple dish with complex taste. As little as fried rice, egg, onion, a few herbs are needed to give you tasteful and satisfying dish. It is usually served with slice of lime and fresh cucumber that emphasize the flavor.
11. Fried Pork/Chicken with Basil (Pad Krapow Moo/Gai Saap)
Holy basil leaves, fresh chilli, minced pork or chicken, green beans, soy sauce and a little sugar are mixed into consistent and usually spicy composition. It is one of the most popular Thai dishes so you’ll most likely get it in every restaurant.
12. Roti (Thai pancakes)
Thai kind of pancakes that has been brought to the country by immigrants. Now roti can be found at every possible corner and you definitely cannot give it a miss! The dough itself is so soft and delicious that you don’t really need any topping except for some condensed milk to make it more sweet and creamy. However, there are plenty of ways to serve Thai pancakes. You can get them with different fillings ranging from fruits to chocolate cream. If you don’t have a sweet tooth you can always order them with egg, ham or cheese.
What’s your favorite Thai food? Write in comment!