Guay teow is arguably one of the most popular Thai dishes and can be found almost everywhere. Guay teow describes any type of noodle soup. It can be made with chicken, pork, or beef (rarely vegetarian-friendly) as well as either rice noodles or egg noodles. Most of the time, vendors also add wontons or meatballs to the broth. The dish is best topped with a selection of condiments including, sugar, dried chilli peppers, lime juice, and fish sauce. Guay teow can be eaten at any time of day and is particularly good as a late night snack.
This iconic bowl of steaming goodness is bold, aromatic and comes with a fairly strong spicy kick. Tom yum goong is created with quintessential Thai ingredients like lemongrass, chilli, galangal, kaffier lime leaves, shallots, fresh lime juice and plenty of fish sauce. Fresh prawns and mushrooms are added and coconut cream if you want the creamy version.
Tom kha gai is related to tom yum and offers people with a lower tolerance to spice the opportunity to taste the same beautiful flavours. Besides the spice scale, Tom kha gai is also unique in that it typically comes with lots of creamy coconut milk creating a rich sweet soup. Like most Thai foods, vegetarian options are easily adaptable by substituting a few ingredients.
Som tam hails from Isaan in Northeastern Thailand and is one of the most popular dishes in Thailand. Som tam comes in a variety of styles, however, the classic som tam consists of shredded green papaya, tomatoes, carrots, peanuts, dried shrimp, runner beans, palm sugar, tamarind pulp, fish sauce, lime juice, garlic and plenty of chillies. The ingredients are mixed together using a mortar and pestle, which amplifies the flavours into a super moreish dish.
‘Fluffy’ and ‘crispy’ might be the best words to describe this dish. Catfish is fried in teeny tiny pieces (read “blown up”) creating an airy, fluffy and scrumptious fish salad. The secret to this dish is the pairing of the crispy fish with sweet, sour and spicy green mango salad. This dish is best enjoyed as an appetizer with a group of friends or as a beer snack.
This mixed seafood salad is not only delicious but is also a healthy meal option. Depending on where you are, this salad can have any combination of squid, shrimp, mussels, scallops or crabmeat in it. Added to the seafood medley are tomatoes, onions and rice glass noodles for good measure.
Laab is a northeastern-style salad with meat or mushroom and mint which originates in the northeastern province of Isan. Laab comes in a variety of styles including chicken, pork, and mushroom. It is not recommended for those who can’t handle spice as it tends to come with a hefty kick.
Stir-fried pumpkin or “pad phuk tong” is one of the best vegetarian-friendly dishes in the Land of Smiles. While it is more difficult to find than a good helping of pad thai, you should definitely be on the lookout for this dish. Order it with a plate of brown rice if available and you’ll be laughing.
Pad thai is one of Thailands national dishes and is a go-to for tourists who are starting out their Thai cuisine exploration. Pad thai is a fried noodle dish which is usually made with shrimp or chicken, however, the vegetarian option is popular too. Pad thai is available on almost every street corner and is a cheap and tasty meal.
This dish consists of wide rice noodles which are stir-fried in thick dark soy sauce with chicken, pork, or beef as well as either Chinese broccoli or cabbage. A flavorful but safe choice, it’s an excellent option for those who can’t handle spicier Thai dishes but want to branch out from pad thai. Foodies who like a little more kick can add dried chilli flakes, vinegar, or both.