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Top 10 Must-try Traditional Food in Thailand

May 14, 2024 - 3563 views

Thailand is a food paradise of appetizing traditional cuisine and unique flavors. Coming to Thailand, you should not miss out the chance to taste these top 10 Thai traditional dishes in this article.

Thailand is among top destinations in Asia for tourists around the world. One of many reasons for this is its mouthwatering traditional cuisine. Thai traditional food is aromatic, healthy and has a perfect blend of 5 different essential flavors: salty, sour, spicy, bitter, and sweet. Below are top 10 Thai traditional dishes you should not miss when you are in Thailand. Following this travel guide, you are sure to have a happy tummy when you are in this Land of Smiles.

1. Tom Yum Goong 

Tom Yum Goong, a type of spicy shrimp soup, is one of the most popular soups in Thailand, which can be found in most of daily meals of Thai people. This Thai traditional food is made from prawns (Goong), mushroom, tomatoes, garlic, fish sauce, cilantro, onions, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, and lemongrass together with a lot of lime juice. The featured taste is clear, sour and spicy. Tom Yum Goong is best paired with steamed white rice or roasted bread during winter months. 

Tom Yum Goong - Thai Traditional Food

Tom Yum Goong

2. Thai Beef Salad

Thai Beef Salad, also called Yum Nuea, is one of the typical dishes that you can find in most of Thai restaurants. It is a very delightful, colorful dish, and it tastes so good.  If you are a person who loves spicy and savory food, this traditional dish should be in your list. Thai Beef Salad, a meat and vegetable dish, is cooked very quickly at a high temperature when the vegetables are almost raw. It is typically eaten with rice, a nice bottle of Thai beer but can be also enjoyed on its own.

 Thai Beef Salad - Traditional Food

Thai Beef Salad

3. Pad Thai 

Pad Thai is one of Thailand’s national dishes, which is famous all over the world. Pad Thai is a Thai-style fried noodle dish, made from shrimp or chicken, chilies, palm sugar, tamarind, lime juice, with egg noodles and some fried peanuts on top. This Thai food is available on almost street and restaurant in Thailand.

Traditional Food Pad Thai

Pad Thai

4. Som Tam 

Som Tam, also known as green papaya salad, was listed in CNN’s compilation of the 50 most delicious foods in 2011. It is a perfect combination of the five main tastes of local cuisine: sour lime, hot chili, salty, savory fish sauce, and sweetness from the palm sugar which makes it the number one salad in Thailand. Other ingredients of this must-try Thai classic dish include garlic, dried shrimp, brined crabs, tomatoes, yardlong beans, hot plums, and raw eggplant.

Thai Traditional Food Som Tam

Som Tam

5. Massaman Curry

Massaman Curry is a signature traditional dish in Southern Thailand, a true gem of Thai cuisine. It is believed to be introduced in the region since the 16th century by a Persian trader. This delicious curry is a mixture of meat (beef, duck, tofu, chicken), coconut milk, onion, peanuts/cashews, potatoes, bay leaves, cardamom pods, cinnamon, star anise, palm sugar, fish sauce, chili sauce, and tamarind sauce. It is often served with rice, fresh fruits like pineapples or oranges.

Thai Traditional Food Chicken Massaman Curry

Chicken Massaman Curry

6. Phat Kaphrao 

Phat Kaphrao, stir-fried meat with basil and chilli, is great dish for people who are in a hurry to seek for authentic traditional Thai flavour. There are few versions of this Thai dish, which are beef, minced pork or chicken. Phat Kaphrao does not require more ingredients (shallots, garlic, chili peppers, soy sauce, sugar, basil), but can become a large meal. What makes this traditional dish outstanding from others is the use of basil and chilli. Mostly served over sticky rice and often topped with fried eggs, it is the definition of traditional Thai-style one-bite meal.

Thai Traditional Food Phat Kaphrao

Phat Kaphrao

7. Khao Soi 

Khao Soi (creamy coconut curry noodle soup) is a popular dish in Northern Thai, especially in Chiang Mai. Khao Soi can be found in almost anywhere from the street food stalls to the fine-dining restaurants. There are options for chicken, beef, pork or vegetarian, this yellow curry rice noodle soup is often served over Chinese egg noodles garnished with crispy fried noodles, pickled mustard greens, shallots, lime, sweet soy sauce and spicy chili oil. It should be on “must-eat” list of Thai traditional food when you are in Chiang Mai.

Thai Traditional Food Khao Soi

Khao Soi

8. Pla Kapong Neung Manao

Thai steamed fish with chili and lime, or Plah Kapong Neung Manao, is a fresh, light and healthy dish which is incredibly popular in Thailand and abroad. After the fish is gutted, scaled, scored and steamed, it is served with the citrusy sauce on an elevated fish-shaped pan over a flame or bed of charcoal to keep the dish steaming and constantly piping hot. It is also accompanied with steamed white rice. The sweet, sour, spicy, garlicky, and well balanced sauce made with a handful of basic ingredients is just perfect over this delicately steamed white flesh fish and you will love it!

Thai Traditional Food Plah Kapong Neung Manao

Plah Kapong Neung Manao

9. Green Chicken Curry

The Thai green curry with chicken is another incredibly popular traditional dish everyone must try in Thailand. This curry comprises of coconut milk, green curry paste, and chicken as the main ingredients; sometimes you could use other kinds of meat like pork, beef instead of chicken. The green curry paste is made from green chilies, shallots, garlic, lemongrass paste, kaffir lime leaves, and some Thai sweet basil. The coconut milk makes the soup rich, creamy, while the green curry paste makes it hot and sweet. This dish is so delicious, especially when served with steaming white jasmine rice.

Thai Traditional Food Green Chicken Curry

Green Chicken Curry

10. Mango Sticky Rice

Mango Sticky Rice is something you should try if you want get deeper insights of the roots of Thai traditional foods. It is one of authentic Thai desserts with sticky rice and fresh mango as the main ingredients. The sticky rice is made in a pot on your stove. Then add some fresh mango slices over the sticky rice and smother with the easy coconut sauce, and you have a delicious dish! Simple but when all the ingredients are put together, it becomes incredibly yummy and yummy.

Thai Traditional Food Mango Sticky Rice

Mango Sticky Rice

Above are top 10 traditional dishes in Thailand. If you have not been there, do not hesitate to plan a trip to Thailand and get a chance to taste these delicious foods. Plan a trip with us by following the best deal tours in Thailand here.

Jenny Tran 

(Image source: Internet)

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