Thailand is famous for many things. Tourists every year flock to the beautiful beaches and visit the stunning temples.
The Kingdom is also the origin of the mixed martial arts of Muay Thai. However, more famous than all of that is the Thai food.
Thai food is known the world over as being one of the most delicious and flavorful cuisines.
With the utilization of Thai chilis, garlic, herbs and many other aromatic ingredients, Thai food has it’s own unique taste.
In essence, Thai food encompasses various types of dishes including noodles, rices, salads, soups and grilled delicacies.
In this article, we’ll discuss the Top 10 Thai food dishes that you cannot pass up eating.
1. Tom Yum Goong - Spicy Thai Soup with Shrimp
Tom Yum is one of the most famous dishes in Thailand.
In Thai language, “Tom” means the process of boiling, and “Yum” refers to a sour and spicy Thai salad.
Tom Yum is a sour and spicy soup typically made with lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, chilis, garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, fish sauce and a lot of lime juice.
Tom Yum is usually served in a large bowl or in an aluminum hot pot that has a charcoal burner.
The soup usually features a meat such as beef, chicken or pork, but the most popular additive is shrimp (Goong in Thai).
2. Gaeng Keow Wan Gai - Thai Green Curry with Chicken
Thai Green Curry is another famous dish that Thailand is known for.
The main ingredients in this dish are green curry paste, coconut milk and your meat of choice, with chicken as the most widely preferred.
The green curry paste is made in a mortar by pounding green chilis, garlic, shallots and various other ingredients.
The coconut milk gives the soup a rich and creamy consistency with the green curry paste bringing the heat.
Subsequently, grab a plate of rice and enjoy this Thai food favorite!
3. Khao Soi - Northern Thai Noodles with Curry
Khao Soi is a famous noodle dish from the northern part of Thailand. The broth of the soup is the start of the show.
In fact, it's made with curry and coconut milk which gives the broth a rich and creamy consistency.
The broth is then topped over flat egg noodles and that is topped further with deep fried egg noodles. Meats such as chicken and beef are commonly added.
This northern Thai food favorite is usually garnished with red onions, pickled mustard greens and lime juice.
4. Khao Pad - Fried Rice
Probably the most popular Asian food dish, it's almost a must for Khao Pad (Thai fried rice) to make this list.
You may be thinking what makes Thai fried rice different than from any other Asian country. The biggest difference is that Jasmine rice is used in Thailand.
Other popular ingredients in Khao Pad are onions, garlic, an egg, and sometimes slices of tomatoes. Typically locals will order their fried rice with chicken, pork, shrimp or tuna.
Another reason that Thai fried rice is different is that it's extremely common to add "prik naam pla," which is a fish sauce with chilis and garlic. Just sprinkle on a few drops to your rice and enjoy!
5. Pad Grapao Moo Sab Kai Dow - Minced Pork with Thai Basil and Fried Egg
Minced pork with Thai basil is one of the staple meals in the Thai food culture. Most, if not all Thai restaurants will sell this well known dish.
Minced pork is cooked in a very hot wok or pan with Thai basil leaves, chilis, garlic, oyster sauce and soy sauce.
This Thai food classic is then served over rice. But the cherry on top of this dish is the fried egg!
Most people will order this dish with a crispy fried egg on top, but not too crispy. The egg yolk needs to be nice and creamy as it soaks itself in the rice for a nice flavor.
6. Pad See Ew - Stir Fried Rice Noodles
Pad See Ew is a Chinese influenced dish that is very popular in Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia.
The star of this dish is the wide rice noodles that is cooked in a very hot wok with a dark soy sauce, eggs, Chinese broccoli and garlic.
You can order this dish without any meat but many people typically order it with chicken, pork or shrimp.
Pad See Ew can be commonly found and ordered at most street side restaurants and food stalls.
7. Som Tam - Green Papaya Salad
An extremely popular Thai food dish from Isan (Northeast region of Thailand) is Som Tam, a spicy green papaya salad.
Som Tam is made from shredded unripened papaya and is mixed with various ingredients including chilis, garlic, lime juice, fish sauce, tomatoes and long beans.
A popular addition in Som Tam is raw blue crab. Also, Som Tam is often eaten with grilled chicken and sticky rice.
Afterwards, be prepared for your taste buds to be tingling from eating Som Tam!
8. Massaman Curry
A very rich and flavorful dish that has to make this Top 10 Thai Food list is Massaman Curry.
Massaman Curry is known for being a famous Thai Muslim dish as it has heavy Persian influences.
The flavor from this dish comes from the mixed array of spices which include cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin and several other ingredients.
This favorite Thai dish usually features a meat such as chicken or beef, as well as potatoes. A nice plate of rice is typically served as well.
9. Pad Thai - Thai Style Fried Noodles
Probably the most famous Thai food known across the world is Pad Thai.
This stir-fried rice noodle dish is a popular street food gem but is also widely available in restaurants.
Pad Thai is cooked in a very hot wok with eggs, tofu, chili pepper, garlic and other various ingredients.
Popular additive meats to eat in Pad Thai are shrimp and chicken. It’s also typically garnished with bean sprouts, spring onion, peanuts and lime juice.
This is another hearty and comforting Thai food.
10. Pla Pao - Thai Style Grilled Fish
A popular food throughout Thailand is Pla Pao or Thai Style Grilled Fish.
Pla Pao can be seen grilling by many street vendors and local restaurants as dinner time rolls around. Red tilapia or snakehead fish are commonly used types of fish.
For added flavor, the fish is stuffed with lemongrass and the skin is coated in salt before grilling starts.
Pla Pao is usually eaten with rice and a spicy Thai seafood sauce for dipping.
Explore The Thai Food Scene!
To sum up, these dishes are incredibly delicious and you must try them!
However, this is just a small taste of the Thai food scene. There are so many more yummy meals to try and discover!
With all of this in mind, you can chow down on all of these foods during your internship in Thailand.