Thailand’s Top 10 Dishes to Try
Thailand is know for a lot of things – its stunning beaches, friendly atmosphere, and yes, it’s yummy cuisine. Did you know Thai food actually has five fundamental taste senses? Those taste senses are spicy, salty, sour, sweet, and bitter. While there’s so many incredible Thai foods to try, here’s our top ten favorites. To help you along, we’ve also included the name of the dish in Thai – if unsure when ordering, just show it to a waiter!
Som Tum (ส้มตำ)
Som tum is a traditional Thai dish which consists mainly of shredded unripe green papaya. Some additional ingredients include garlic, sugar, lime, fish sauce, dried shrimp, shrimp paste, tomatoes, yardlong beans, chili, and thai raw egg plant. All of these ingredients are placed into a mortar and then pounded with a pestle. Som tum can be found at many street vendors as well as restaurants. Make sure to get some sticky rice with it!
Koh Moo Yang (คอหมูย่าง)
Translated into English, koh moo yang is grilled pork neck. Pork neck is actually one of the favourite cuts among the Thai. Now why would anyone want to eat this part of a pig? Well a combination of meat, muscle and fat, the pork neck just gives off so much flavour and not to mention the flavourfully chili sour sauce that is severed with it. The dipping sauce, jaew, is a mixture of dried chili flakes, sliced shallots, fish sauce, lime, chopped cilantro, and brown sugar. The combination of charcoaled flavoured meat and a spicy sour herb sauce is a dish not to miss!
Kaeng Som Cha-om (แกงส้มชะอม)
Kaeng som cha-om is one of Thailand’s popular soup dishes. Kaeng som is the soup its self, cha-om is a well known vegetable belonging to the acacia family and is founded throughout Southeast Asia. At first, cha-om may taste peculiar, but once this leafy green vegetable is cooked up in the soup, they both compliment each other very well.
Kai Jeaw (ไข่เจียว)
Kai jeaw is the Thai word for omelette. Whether it’s the main dish or side dish, kai jeaw is very popular among Thais. Many ingredients can go into a Thai omelette, it all depends on what you’d would prefer. Though a common Thai kai jeaw will consist of tomatoes, scallions, and either minced pork or minced chicken. Nearly all restaurants will serve this dish, as well as some side carts on the side of the road.
Pad Yod Fuk Meo (ผัดยอดฟักแม้ว)
If you love vegetables, this is a dish for you. Pad yod fuk meo is Thailand’s stir fried chayote stem dish. The stems of this vegetable are placed into a frying pan, along with cloves of garlic, chili, and oyster sauce. The taste of this dish is amazing! You’ve got a balance of saltiness from the oyster sauce and a kick of spice from the chili.
Tom Yum (ต้มยำ)
If another popular Thai spicy sour soup dish is what you want, then tom yum is a must! Depending on what you like, tom yum can be served with any desired protein, though tom yum prawn is probably the most popular among the Thais and tourists. Tom yum is basically a broth of stock and fresh ingredients such as lime leaves, lemongrass, lime juice, fish sauce, galangal, and crushed chili peppers.
Larb Moo (ลาบหมู)
A popular Thai salad dish is larb moo. Originating from northeast Thailand, larb moo is a spicy pork salad. This dish is made of minced pork, lime leaf, toasted ground rice, shallots, fish sauce, mint leaves, and lime juice. The taste of larb moo is fairly similar to som tum, it gives off a similar spicy sour taste. Larb moo in Thailand is usually served alongside sticky rice.
Kuay Tiew Moo Nam tok (ก๋วยเตี๋ยวหมูน้ำตก)
Coming away from soup and salad dishes, Thailand also offers some amazing noodle dishes. For instance, kuay tiew moo nam tok. What is this you ask? This well known Thai dish is boat noodles with pork. These noodles are in a soup filled with basil, parsley, morning glory, radish, fried garlic, shallots, and bean sprouts, are are commonly served in a small bowl.
Gai Yang (ไก่ย่าง)
One of Thailand’s most popular street foods is gai yang, which is grilled chicken. Gai yang is extremely tasty as it gives off that charcoaled taste. Gai yang is usually sold at the same street food carts as som tum. The two actually compliment each other so well.
Khao Soy (ข้าวซอย)
Last but not least on our top 10 must try Thai dishes is khao soy, which is a creamy spicy coconut milk curry soup with egg noodles. Similar to kuay tiew moo nam tok, this noodle dish is served in a soup filled with, pork, soy beans, tomatoes, chili, bean sprouts, scallions, garlic, and shallots. Street vendors will usually sell this popular Thai noodle dish.