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Thai Food You Have to Try At Least Once

May 15, 2023
2023-05-15
Thai cuisine is among the most delicious in the world. It may not be as universal as Italian or as high-brow as French, but you can bet that it's sumptuous and definitely flavorful. Traditional cuisine is part of what makes Thai culture so alluring and fascinating. One bite is enough to make you want more, even if you're unsure if you like it in the first place. With dishes like Pad Thai, Tom Kha Gai, Tom Yum Goong, Khao Pad, and Mango Sticky Rice, there's no way you won't fall in love with Thai food. You might even crave it again and again!

Thai Food You Have to Try At Least Once


Pad Thai

Pad Thai is the ultimate Thai cuisine staple. It's practically symbolic of the country's traditional food, the same way a baguette and a croissant are for French cuisine, pizza & pasta for Italian, and hamburgers for American. For such a popular and important dish, the fact that it's so simple yet so satisfying is almost unbelievable. They're served either with chicken or shrimp—or just vegetables for the vegetarian/vegan option—and every bite will leave you wanting more. Pad Thai is the perfect dish to slowly get into Thai cuisine.
Thai Food You Have to Try At Least Once
Source: Wikimedia Commons


TomYum Goong

If there's one thing you ought to know about Thai cuisine, it's that it's mostly spicy. Thai food won't just tickle your taste buds, some will practically incinerate it. And you'll relish every second of the sensation! Take Tom Yum Goong, for example. One of the most beloved Thai dishes around. You’ll find it in various restaurants in Bangkok and other cities in the country. This spicy shrimp soup is made with chili, lemongrass, galangal, shallots, fresh lime juice, and plenty of fish sauce. Some would add coconut milk for a creamier and richer version, though it doesn't dilute the spiciness one bit.
Thai Food You Have to Try At Least Once
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Tom Kha Gai

Can't handle the heat from Tom Yum Goong? Perhaps a warm bowl of Tom Kha Gai would suit you better! It's chicken in coconut soup—simple, sweet, and satisfying. Its light and almost saccharine taste is a good contrast to the spicy and savory Thai food. Paired with the creaminess of coconut milk, it's no wonder kids tend to prefer Tom Kha Gai instead of Tom Yum Goong. Similarly to Pad Thai, this soup is a great beginner dish for those who are tasting Thai cuisine for the first time.
Thai Food You Have to Try At Least Once
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Gaeng Khiao Waan Gai

No list of must-try Thai food is complete without Gaeng Khiao Waan Gai! But what is it, exactly? Green curry, what else? More than just your average curry, however, this is far different than the kinds you'd expect from India, the UK, or even Japan. Gaeng Khiao Waan Gai is among the spiciest kinds of curry in the world. Not even coconut milk can dilute its intense flavor. Made with green chilies, ginger, and other local spices, you'll need a tall glass of water around you when you eat it.
Thai Food You Have to Try At Least Once
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Khao Pad

How do you know that Thai food is Asian cuisine? Simple: it has rice! But of course, it's no ordinary rice! Khao Pad is fried rice mixed with some egg and onion. Oftentimes, they'll add slices of cucumber as garnish. And as you'd expect, Khao Pad pairs well with practically every other dish on this list and beyond. Whether it's Thai Chicken Satay or Pla Som Tod, a seafood delicacy from Koh Samui, you'll crave as many bowls of Khao Pad as you can eat.
Thai Food You Have to Try At Least Once
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Som Tam

No meal is complete without a starter salad, right? And of course, for Thai food, it has to be a spicy one. Hence, there's Som Tam, spicy green papaya salad. Originally from northeastern Thailand, this flavorful dish eventually became one of the most popular in the entire country. The Thais can't help but crave this hot salad made with green papayas, tomatoes, carrots, palm sugar, tamarind pulp, fish sauce, and peanuts. Some would add dried shrimp for a seafood touch too.
Thai Food You Have to Try At Least Once
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Khao Kha Moo

Now, let's get into the meats! Firstly, there's Khao Kha Moo, or Thai-style braised pork leg. Made with pickled mustard greens and oyster sauce, the dish is as hearty as it sounds. This is the kind of tummy-filling delicacy that you'll want to have after a busy day in Bangkok, for example, and you're as hungry as a horse. Rest assured the one plate of Khao Kha Moo will have you feeling satisfied in no time. That is until you crave some more and order another round!
Thai Food You Have to Try At Least Once
Source: Flickr.com/ Alpha


Sua Rong Hai

Sua Rong Hai, more commonly known by its English name as the “Thai Weeping Tiger Beef,” is perhaps the most unique-sounding dish on this list. But don't worry. This dish is neither made out of tiger meat nor does it have tears in it too. This northeastern Thailand delicacy got its name because when the beef brisket is grilled, the oil that drips from it looks like tears. As for its “tiger” name, the beef used to make Sua Rong Hai is often strong and succulent. Almost as if only a tiger can bite into it.
Thai Food You Have to Try At Least Once
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Thai Chicken Satay

Thai Chicken Satay is possibly the most popular among the meaty Thai dishes on this list. Why? Because you can find it in various stalls, diners, and restaurants all over the country. Whether you're in Bangkok or Phuket, it's not that hard to spot a place that sells this. And since it's served on a stick, it's also easy to eat. You can just bite into it right then and there or you can ask for some Pad Thai or Khao Pad and enjoy a more filling meal.
Thai Food You Have to Try At Least Once
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Kao Niew Ma Muang

Finally, for some dessert, you can't go wrong with the ultimate classic: Kao Niew Ma Muang! Though you might know it better for its English name, Mango sticky rice. Hands down, this is the most popular dessert in Thai food history. Both locals and tourists alike can't get enough of it. You'll find it in various food fairs, restaurants, and even some street stalls too. But why is it so beloved? It's because the contrast between the sweet mangos and the slightly salty sticky rice makes for a unique and ultimately satisfying sensation!
Thai Food You Have to Try At Least Once
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Thai food is among the most flavorful and tantalizing cuisines in the world. You'll want to taste its most popular dishes at least once in your life because “delicious” doesn't even begin to describe this cuisine!



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