Thai Food Guide: 9 Dishes You Should Know And Try


For anyone with a sense of adventure in dining, the vibrant flavors of Thai food await. A journey to the table is a journey to the soul of Thailand. In our Thai food guide, we will explore nine classic Thai dishes you must experience to truly understand this magical cuisine.

Thai Food Guide: Essentials Things You Need To Know 

Before diving into the world of Thai cuisine, here are a few things you should know:

  • Spice Level:¬†Thai food is known for its bold and spicy flavors. If you have a low tolerance for spice, it’s important to communicate your preference to the server or chef. They can adjust the spice level accordingly.

  • Balance of Flavors:¬†Thai cuisine is all about achieving a harmonious balance of flavors. It combines sweet, sour, salty, and spicy elements in each dish. Be prepared for a burst of flavors that may be different from what you’re used to.

  • Rice is a Staple:¬†Rice is a staple in Thai cuisine and is often served alongside main dishes. It helps to balance out the strong flavors and adds a neutral base to the meal. Jasmine rice is the most common variety served in Thailand.

  • Eating with Utensils:¬†In Thai culture, it is common to eat with a spoon and fork. The spoon is used to scoop up rice and other dishes, while the fork is used to push food onto the spoon. Chopsticks are also used for certain dishes, especially noodles.

  • Street Food Culture:¬†Thailand is renowned for its vibrant street food culture. Don’t be afraid to explore the local street food stalls and try a variety of dishes. It’s a great way to experience the authentic flavors of Thai cuisine.

  • Fresh Ingredients:¬†Thai cuisine emphasizes the use of fresh ingredients, such as herbs, spices, and vegetables. Many dishes incorporate aromatic herbs like lemongrass, basil, and cilantro. The freshness of the ingredients adds depth and complexity to the flavors.

  • Regional Variations:¬†Thai cuisine varies across different regions of the country. Each region has its own specialties and flavor profiles. For example, the cuisine in the northern region is influenced by Burmese and Chinese flavors, while the southern region is known for its spicier dishes.

  • Allergies and Dietary Restrictions:¬†If you have any allergies or dietary restrictions, it’s important to communicate them to the server or chef. They can guide you towards dishes that accommodate your needs or suggest suitable substitutions.

By keeping these things in mind, you’ll be better prepared to appreciate and enjoy the diverse and flavorful world of Thai cuisine.

>> Read More: How To Plan A Trip To Thailand

Thai Food Guide: 9 Must-try Dishes For Every Traveler

Tom Ka/ Tom Kha


Preferred by kids as it is not too spicy, Tom Ka is a delicate coconut soup that has a pleasant aroma. The soup mainly consists of galangal and lemongrass, while chilies are not used as the primary ingredient. The fragrance is enhanced with the use of fresh basil and kafir lime leaves.

Tom Ka frequently includes mouthwatering Asian mushrooms. It has a mild, pleasant flavor and a wonderful aroma, and when combined with rice, it tastes much better. They go together flawlessly!

Tom Yum


Tom Yum is a famous Thai dish often referred to in English-language menus as ‘sour Thai soup.’ The shrimp version‚ÄĒtom yam kung‚ÄĒis¬†the most lauded, and justifiably so: the combination of fatty prawns and a tart/spicy soup results in an unusual but delicious and distinctly Thai amalgam.

Tom Yum is hot with chilies and sour with lime. It doesn’t normally contain coconut, the stock is almost clear sometimes.

Pad Thai


Everyone who has been to Thailand simply loves Pad Thai! The meal appeared in the 1930s and may be the most well-known dish served to tourists in Thailand.

Pad Thai has since been regarded as the embodiment of Thai cuisine, consisting of thin rice noodles stir-fried with egg, tofu, and shrimp and seasoned with fish sauce, sugar, tamarind, vinegar, and dried chilies. Surprisingly, the best Pad Thai can be found on the streets, not in any expensive restaurants or large establishments. For your curiosity, the street is also the center of Thai cuisine.

Pad See Ew


In contrast to Pad Thai, which is sweeter and nuttier, Pad See Ew has a great chargrilled taste and is salty with a tinge of sourness. Several foodies also rank the fried flat noodles, with soy sauce and veggies and either meat or no meat, as one of their favorite dishes.

Pad See Ew has a beautiful appearance because of the mix of several colors, including yellow, orange, and green, as well as a delicious flavor thanks to the inclusion of kale, Chinese broccoli, and other ingredients.

Green Curry


This is undoubtedly the most famous Thai curry type for travelers. Thai curry from the center of the country is called green curry (kaeng khiao wan). The hue of the dish, which is a result of the green chilies, gives curry its moniker of “green.” The word “sweet” in the Thai name, “wan,” relates to the specific shade of green rather than the flavor of the curry.

Its additional components, in addition to the primary protein, which is often fish, fish balls, or meat, include coconut milk, green curry paste, palm sugar, and fish sauce. Frequently, Thai eggplant (aubergine), pea aubergine, basil leaves, various green or white veggies, and even fruit are included. The quantity of coconut milk used determines the sauce’s consistency.

Green chilies, shallots, garlic, galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, cilantro roots, cumin seeds, white peppercorns, and shrimp paste are traditionally ground together to make green curry paste.

Red Curry


This well-known dish is usually prepared with red curry paste and meat, such as chicken, beef, hog, duck, or shrimp, or a vegetarian protein source like tofu. Like other Asian curries, Thai Red Curry (kaeng phet) has a rich flavor. All the components in the paste, which are subsequently cooked with broth and coconut milk, give the sauce its unique flavor. It is incredibly rich and has both sweet and savory flavors.

Yellow Curry


Since it contains more coconut cream and fewer chilies than red or green curries, Thai yellow curry (kaeng kari) is richer and creamier. It is normally eaten with steamed rice, either chicken or beef and a starchy vegetable, most commonly potatoes. However, it can also be cooked with duck, tofu, shrimp, fish, or vegetables.

Khao Phat


Khao Phat is a signature dish of Thai cuisine and it is literally translated as “stir-fried rice.” Unlike Chinese fried rice, it uses jasmine rice in its preparation instead of regular long-grain rice. Thai fried rice is usually cooked with similar meats like chicken and shrimp, as in Chinese fried rice.

Thai fried rice differs from its Chinese counterpart by not including as many vegetables. The dish is prepared by cooking rice with flavorful ingredients such as onions, garlic, and peppers. Thinly sliced tomatoes may also be added occasionally. Once the meal is ready, it is placed on a serving platter and drizzled with phrik nampla, a hot sauce made from sliced Thai chilies.

Kai Yang


Kai Yang is a popular dish in Thailand that is made by grilling or barbecuing an entire marinated chicken. Although the dish originated in northeastern Thailand and is of Lao origin, it is now widely eaten across the country. The meal is usually served with sticky white rice, a vegetable salad called Som Tam, and dipping sauces. While sweet sauce is preferred in the Central region, sour sauce is commonly used in the Northeast.

It is served by a wide variety of street vendors around Thailand. The marinade, which is comprised of many ingredients, including soy sauce, ginger, white pepper, fish sauce, vinegar, hoisin sauce, and herbs like cilantro, lemongrass, and garlic, sets kai yang apart from other grilled chicken dishes.

>> See Tour: Best Of Thailand

Explore Thai Cuisine With Asia Pioneer Travel

Thai cuisine is a treasure trove of flavors and aromas that will transport you to the vibrant streets of Thailand. From the iconic Pad Thai to the creamy curries, each dish offers a unique culinary experience.

Whether you’re a fan of spicy food or prefer milder flavors, Thai cuisine has something to satisfy every palate. So, do not hesitate to Tell Us About Your Preferences, and let us create the best Thailand vacation of your dreams. Our dedicated travel designers can go the extra mile to personalize a trip just for you. Let’s embark on a gastronomic adventure like no other in this country.¬†

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