Thailand’s vast biodiversity and different geographies have affected the cuisine found from region to region. Ranging from mountains to beaches and countryside to cities, the flavours and ingredients of Thai dishes are drastically different, giving any traveller no two dishes the same, to try. Here we go in-depth about six best Thai food that no one should be missing during their trip to Thailand.
Tom Yum Goong (Spicy Shrimp Soup)
This is the most popular Thai soup. This world-renowned soup is made with lemongrass, fresh chillies(or chilli paste), galangal, kaffir lime leaves, shallots, lime juice, and fish sauce. Fresh prawns are added as the main ingredient. Coconut cream is added for those who want a creamy version.
There are many variants of this spicy soup Tom Yum according to the main ingredient added. Shrimp(Goong), chicken(Gai), fish(Pla), and seafood(Taleh) are the main variations. But the shrimp variant Tom Yum Goong remains to be the most delicious. And you should try this one if you are a first-timer. This can also be paired with steamed white rice for a better meal.
This hot and spicy soup can be found in the streets of Bangkok easily.
Pad Thai (Thai-style Stir-fried Noodles)
This signature dish is often considered to be the national dish of Thailand and also the most famous among locals as well as tourists.
This is made by stir-frying rice noodles with crunchy beansprouts, onion, and eggs. Condiments such as dried shrimp, fish sauce, garlic or shallots, red chilli, and palm sugar are added to flavour up. Pad Thai usually contains seafood like shrimp, crab or squid. But variants are made with chicken, beef or pork. However, the vegetarian option made with tofu is also popular. Finally served with a lime wedge, finely grated peanuts and fresh herbs on top. The traditional taste is sweet and sour unless you add some chilli which is usually served separately.
Som Tum (Spicy Green Papaya Salad)
The most famous salad in Thailand and one of the most famous Thai cuisine around the world. This is made with simple ingredients like shredded green papaya, tomatoes, carrots, peanuts, garlic, chillies, palm sugar, lime juice, and fish sauce. These are mixed with a mortar and pestle to amplify the flavour. Som Tum can be made with mangoes, cucumber or other vegetables also. Som Tum is mixed with crab, peanuts, dried shrimp or noodles. Thai people’s favourite way of eating this is with sticky rice.
There is another overlooked variant which contains fermented crab. This fermented crab adds a whole different flavour to Som Tam and it is called Som Tam Phu Pala.
Tom Kha Gai (Chicken Coconut Soup)
This is the less spicy version of the Tom Yum made for people who can’t tolerate the spicy flavour of the Tom Yum while still enjoying the same deliciousness of the Tom Yum. But Tom Kha Kai has its own uniqueness. Coconut milk creates a rich sweet soup while tender chicken strips and mushrooms give a smooth flavour. Vegetarians can taste this too by just replacing some ingredients. Tom Kha Gai, like many Thai style soups, can be paired with a bowl of steamed rice to form a meal.
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Gaeng Keow Wan Gai (Thai Green Chicken Curry)
The most popular curry in Thailand. And also the spiciest. But perfectly balanced by sweet flavour added from the coconut milk. The unique colour comes from green chillies.
The curry paste is made with a blend of herbs and spices including fresh green chillies, Thai basil, shallots, blue ginger, garlic, turmeric, and kaffir lime leaves and cooked with coconut milk. Vegetables like eggplant and potatoes are also added. Then, all, together act as the yummy sauce!
Can be ordered with beef, pork or seafood apart from chicken. Perfect to taste along with steamed rice, Kanomjeen noodle or bread.
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Guay Teow (Noodle Soup)
This is a popular Thai dish that can be found in almost any local restaurant everywhere in Thailand.
Noodles, either rice noodles or egg noodles, are cooked in a simmering meat broth containing Thai spices and meat (chicken, pork or beef) topped with sugar, dried chilli pepper, fish sauce and lime juice.
This is also called boat noodles as this was first cooked and served from boats in rivers and canals of Bangkok.
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Keep in mind before tasting these best Thai food
Thai people are fond of adding sugar to almost everything they cook. So if you are into a sugar-free diet or like the spicy taste, inform the cook beforehand. The popularity of Thai dishes differs from region to region. So one city’s favourite won’t be favoured in the other.
Thai cuisine may get you overwhelmed due to their variety. The best ones are soups(like the spicy shrimp soup) and curries(like green chicken curry). So don’t forget to try some dishes from those two categories at least. If you are in a hurry and want to taste some best Thai food while sightseeing, try Thai Bus Food Tour in Bangkok.